Things To Consider About Usability Testing

Usability-TestingThe effective web development is always about getting feedback from users. You can organize getting the feedback in different ways and at different stages of the website development. Whether it is design, aesthetics, navigation through the site or its content, the feedback is not the ultimate way of improving its efficiency. Only usability testing with real users might show whether the site meets all the demands.

Don’t save costs on usability testing

Ideally, the project budget for every website should include costs for usability testing. But in reality, many companies, especially small ones, cannot afford such spends. Even if the budget is too small and the website is developed by a few people, usability testing is not the thing to economize on. The simplest test is better than no testing at all.

Choose a testing group deliberately

It is important to remember that a testing group of people must correspond the target audience of the website. Otherwise, the results will not be effective. That is why involving relatives and friends is hardly a good idea.

Also, try not to involve the company employees or people who are close to web development. These users can understand the site constitution faster and easier than common users, and thus might create the illusion that the site is clear to the target users.

Inform the testing group about the conditions of the procedure

Before the testing you should explain users properly that it is not their abilities to be tested but the website’s ease of use. Also, they should know that in case of difficulties during their user experience, most likely they will not get any hints.

Make a detailed plan and set certain tasks

There must be definite prescriptions for users for the testing process. All their actions should be watched and recorded precisely, and then thoroughly analyzed. Monitoring users while testing will provide more detailed information than just the answers to the questions in the questionnaire. If you watch carefully and properly, the results will reveal most of the problems of the site.

Pay attention rather to what users do than what they say

There is often a significant difference between what people say they would do and what they really do interacting with the website. Precise monitoring should primarily refer to their actions.

In general, usability testing aims to answer such questions:

  • Is the main goal of the site clear to users?
  • Can users easily find everything they need on the website?
  • How easy is to complete all the forms?
  • Do users behave as the website owners expected them to?

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1 comment

  1. February 20, 2014 @ 11:48 pm UXR

    Thanks for the thoughtful article! What the users do is much more important than what they say, but also remember to listen to HOW they say things. Pick up on their facial expressions especially, the words they use, and be sure to probe when when say something evocative. You can get lots of juicy info that way!

    I also wanted to chime in and say that, having worked at a small company, it really is true that budgeting for usability is not usually a priority. We ended up winging it and doing a pretty good job (this was years ago), but now they have all these great new tools to make UX more accessible to even small businesses. I just started doing some work for a usability testing place called Userlytics, and I have to say they have some neat solutions for those without UX departments at their disposal. I also came across an inspiring article earlier tonight that gave some ideas for a sort of test-brainstorm session you can do with only a few in-house people (better than nothing, for sure!) No matter what you do about UX, just make sure it’s not nothing! Keep up the great blog.

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