What Is Usability Testing?

17 Oct 2018
What Is Usability Testing?

Usability testing is a technique used in user-centred design to evaluate a product by testing it on users. This can be seen as an irreplaceable usability practice since it gives direct input on how real users use the system. This is in contrast with usability inspection methods where experts use different methods to evaluate a user interface without involving users.

Usability testing focuses on measuring a human-made product’s capacity to meet its intended purpose. It balances the client’s expectation and vision with what the user actually wants to use.

Usability Testing Questions

User experience (UX) designers are focused on creating usable, desirable, findable, accessible and credible applications and experiences. During the development, ask yourself these questions:

  • Is my task quick and easy to learn?
  • Is my task efficient to use?
  • Does my task allow for rapid recovery from errors?
  • Is my task easy to remember?

Once you have asked yourself these questions, you can start to find the answers by doing frequent usability testing on every new project, application and website.

How Do You Do Usability Testing?

Usability testing asks users to complete specific tasks, such as adding products to a shopping cart and completing the checkout process. In-person testing can also be done. In this case, the facilitator can ask direct questions to gather additional information about the user’s experiences. While remote usability testing can be done, it doesn’t allow for additional interactions.

Why Do Usability Testing?

Usability testing’s results show what really matters to your user. If users aren’t able to complete the task, if they require assistance to complete the tasks or if they take too much time to complete the tasks, software testers are immediately alerted to the problem. Usability testing demonstrates the following:

  • How user-friendly your application is,
  • The overall user experience, and
  • Where users’ frustrations lie.

By identifying problems early on, clients reduce their costs to fix the issues later on. This leads to the following benefits:

  • Reduced costs,
  • Increased user satisfaction,
  • Lower training and support costs, and
  • Better products.

Usability testing is invaluable to good user experience design. Giving users the opportunity to test your application dramatically improves its performance and reduces your costs and stress in the long run.

Need software testers who can do a comprehensive and thorough test on all your applications and software? Then contact Inspired Testing today.

Sastri Munsamy

Executive: Technology and Innovation for Inspired Testing

Sastri is a passionate and engaging mentor, educator and speaker with extensive experience of real-world testing and automation projects. He has worked in the consultancy industry for over 17 years. He has implemented test automation on various systems ranging from desktop, Web, SAP and mobile applications in multiple industries across the world, with an emphasis on defining an efficient and profitable automation strategy. As a mentor, Munsamy has hosted testing community meetups in Cape Town and Johannesburg, and has guest spoken at numerous industry events.


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