Usability Testing

In this article, you can find a lot of useful information about usability testing, their goals, advantages, disadvantages and benefits. We will consider the main points, which can help you to perform usability testing effectively.

What is a usability testing

Sometimes we come across incomprehensible, illogical applications, which functions and methods of using are often not obvious. After such work, there is rarely a desire to use the application again, and we are looking for more convenient analogs.

In order for the application to be popular, it is not enough to have functionality - it should also be convenient. If to reflect, intuitively clear applications save nerves to users and expenses of the employee on trainingSo Usability testing makes your product more competitive and is an indefeasible part of testing.

testUsability testing is a research to determine if some mass product, of prototype or concept, is convenient for its intended useThis process based on ergonomics testing. It's a method to determine how the product will behave in use, based on the involvement of users as testers and summing the conclusions derived from themThere are many different products that commonly benefit from usability testing such as foods, consumer products, web sites or web applications, computer interfaces, documents, and devices.

Usability testing separate to two types: dynamic verification and static verification.

Dynamic is a creating a scenario or realistic situation where a tester ( a person who involved in testing) performs a list of tasks from direct functionality the tested product, while observers watch and make notes.

In Static verification execute gathering feedbacks on the testing productseveral other test tools are also used, such as scenario instructions, paper prototypes and questionnaires before and after testing.

For example, to test the print photo function, the script describes some case where a user needs to print a photo and ask him or her to perform this task.

The goal is to observe how people use the functionality of the product in real time so that developers can see problem areas and what people like.

Goals of usability testing

This type of testing based on black-box testing technique. The main goal to watch how people using the product and find areas of improvement of some errors.
It involves four major areas:

  • efficiency
  • accuracy
  • recall
  • emotional response

Each one area has tested for how well test subjects respond to it.

Efficiency discover how much time, and how many steps, are necessary for testers to do tasks?

For example, find something on internet-shop, change a pass of account and etc.

Accuracy detect how many mistakes people did in performing tasks? Very important to determine if they fatal or recoverable with the right information.

Recall count how much does the person remember afterwards or after periods of non-use?

Emotional response specifies how does the person feel about the tasks completed, is the person confident, stressed, would the user recommend this system to a friend.
usability testing

Advantages and Disadvantages of Usability testing

Advantages include the following few points
  • direct communication with the target audience
  • the internal debate about the product can be solved by analysis how users respond to the various options
  • issues and potential problems are highlighted before the product is launched
  • users are better able to reach their goals, which results in the business meeting its targets

There are some Disadvantages of this methodology, which should be noted:

  • testing is not 100% representative of the real life scenario,
  • is mainly qualitative, so does not provide the large samples of feedback that a questionnaire might

Benefits of Usability Testing

  • Better quality software
  • Software is easier to use
  • Software is more readily accepted by users
  • Shortens the learning curve for new users
  • Learn if participants are able to complete specific tasks successfully
  • Identify how long it takes to complete specified tasks
  • Find out how satisfied participants are with your Web site or other product
  • Identify changes required to improve user performance and satisfaction
  • Analyze the performance to see if it meets your usability objectives

Usability testing is one of many methodologies of software testing. If you want to read more about other types - just follow the link.