Usability Testing

it’s important to start testing it to see if the assumptions you have made are correct. Any testing you can do — no matter how informal — will serve you well.

The goal is to gather as much feedback as you possibly can as early as you possibly can. This helps you to identify any design issues before you get to the expensive part of the process when you reach the final build. It’s too late — and too expensive — to leave user testing until after you’ve built your product. At that point in the process, changes are incredibly costly.

Usability Testing Goals
  • Identify if users are able to complete specific tasks successfully

  • Establish how efficiently users can undertake predetermined tasks

  • Identify changes required to improve user performance and satisfaction

  • Identify how long it takes to complete specified tasks

  • Find out how satisfied participants are with your Web site or other product

  • Analyse the performance to see if it meets your usability objectives

Methodology

Plan Ahead

Develop a solid test plan that outlines your usability test, ensuring that when you test across different individuals, you’re doing so in a consistent manner
The scope of the test must be clear in order to avoid getting too much data in areas and field you might not need.
Focus on what you want to test.

Narrow the Audiance 

Establish clear criteria for recruiting participants, so that you’re testing users who are appropriate to what you’re designing.

Equipment 

Make sure that testers have the right equipment to be able to take the test .
Make sure they have the right devices and conditions to run the test.

Timing 

Make sure the test last long enough to pull the results you are looking for, but not too long to bore the tester and get useless data. 40-60 minutes is the optimal time frame.

Script 

Create a guideline to follow when you run a test. This ensures consistency and focus, and guarantees similar data.

Recording 

Try to keep and store the tests you run. You might need to read/watch again the test in case you missed something.
Make sure testers give you the rights and authorisation to record the test.

Make them Comfortable 

You are testing the product, not the tester. Try to make this clear otherwise the tester might feel under judgment and the response might be not genuine or realistic.

Be Flat and Neutral 

Fight the natural need to express opinions, dont make suggestions or give clues. Testers must not be influenced by your behaviour.

Observe 

Do not focus just on the task they are tested for. Try to spot any emotional reaction, body posture, language, sign. Those things are as important as the way they complete the task, or if they do.

Budget

Usability Testing can be expensive. Find your budget considering the following elements

Type of Test

Type of testing performed

Team

Size of the team assembled for testing
The more team members you are using, the less they will be able to work on other things.

Testers

Number of participants for testing

Consider how or where you will recruit your participants. You will either need to allow for staff time to recruit or engage a recruiting firm to schedule participants for you based on the requirements

Compensation
If you will be compensating participants for their time or travel, factor that into your testing budget.

Rental costs
If you do not have monitoring or recording equipment, you will need to budget for rental costs for the lab or other equipment. You may also need to secure a location for testing, a conference room for example, so consider this as well.

 

Time

Number of days you will be testing.

You will need time to plan the usability test. It will take the usability specialist and the team time to become familiar with the site and pilot test the test scenarios. Be sure to budget in time for this test prep as well as running tests, analysing the data, writing the report, and presenting the findings.