To understand about usability testing, let us know about usability and how it plays an important role in creating an effective user experience. Usability is a term used in User Experience, referring to how easily a user can use a product or application. It comes under UX design, however, it is not limited to it.
There are five aspects that create a usable product, according to Jakob Nielsen:
Effectiveness: The accuracy and completeness with which users are able to achieve goals.
Efficiency: Along with accuracy, we need to consider the speed of completing the tasks or processes.
Engagement: Determining if the interface is engaging, interesting, satisfying, and pleasant to use.
Error-Handling: To identify if the product is less error-prone and how it recovers from such situations.
Learning Curve: How much time and effort does the user need to put in to learn how to use the product or application.
Using all these usability aspects into designing, users can navigate easily while achieving their desired goals. The most stunning interfaces can fail because of usability glitches. Therefore, every business must focus on usability as it is the heart of user experience.
What is Usability Testing?
Usability testing is used to evaluate the release readiness of the product; website or application, by testing it with real users. This process evaluates the overall user experience by assessing the relative ease with which users can perform tasks using different functionalities of the application or website.
Components of Usability Testing
There are two groups in usability testing; end-users and observers. In principle these groups do not know each other, thus, allowing observers to collect more objective information. At the time of setting up a usability test, a scenario is created for users for performing certain tasks that new visitors will require to perform like registering on the platform or referring a friend. Then, the focus group is created consisting of the users who form an ideal target market for the product. Further, the users perform those tasks under controlled conditions.
Observers analyze the overall success by evaluating how users accomplish goals and what all issues they face. They can take note of these usability issues or record audio/video sessions as per their convenience. With all details carefully captured by the observers, it becomes easier to revisit designs later and make changes for improved user experience.
Usability Testing Methods
Users need to organize relevant items into groups and label them. Used in testing navigation structures, this technique is useful in identifying correlated and relevant screens, pages, and functions and grouping them together under different labels.
Carried out by one or more observers, this testing is done in a fixed and restricted environment such as a small room with a small group of individuals. Observers observe users trying to accomplish different tasks. They can interact with users and ask any queries instantaneously. This testing is normally performed as a part of bigger usability research.
In this testing method, a test plan is created that users need to follow while accomplishing the assigned tasks in their own environment. The entire process is recorded via browser webcam. This testing can either be self-guided or a moderator can be assigned to manage the test via webinar or conference call.
A/B testing enables users to test two distinct live variations of the product or application. Half traffic is assigned to one version and the other half is assigned to the other version. Consequently, the data is analyzed and the version that recorded a higher conversion rate is considered optimal.
Steps of Usability Testing
To perform usability testing, here are the steps that are followed:
Recruiting Test Participants
Performing the tests
Test Result Analysis