Thursday, 5 February 2015

Why to perform Usability Testing

If you are any Usability Analyst or User Experience Designer or part of any UX team, then you definitely have been heard this term ‘Usability Testing’. Do you really know the importance of ‘Usability Testing’? how to perform? why to perform? when to perform? lets know about these,

What is Usability Testing?

“Usability testing is a technique used in user-centered interaction design to evaluate a product by testing it on users.” Lets understand it in simple language, “It is a way or method by which we test our product with real end users and find out problems, insights, inferences to improve our product design.”
Usability Testing is different from functionality testing. In functionality testing it is being tested-“That functionality is working or not properly”, but in Usability Testing we test that a real user is able to use it or not.

With whom to perform Usability Test?

Usability testing should be done with ‘Real Users’ because ultimately we (ux designers) are designing product for a user. If you are able to use the product which your designing it doesn’t mean users can use it.

When to perform?

This is an important question “When to perform testing”. Actually usability testing is required at each level of design process. Your interaction with real user should start from very start of any product designing that is ‘research with real users’. Then when your start designing wireframes like low fidelity and high fidelity and functioning wireframes, you should test them with real users (Formative Usability Testing). Once your product is functioning then again test it with real users (Summative Usability Testing).

How to perform?

There are various testing methods to validate your product with real users like, User interview, reverse card sort, eye tracking analysis, A-B testing etc.

Why to perform testing?

This is the very interesting question because most of the designers think that if we are designers then we will not make any bad thing, we should not require to test.
Many designers think that they are very experienced in this field and they know everything what user want and they think whatever they design is right.
But actually it is different, whatever you design may be correct or may not be correct, how will you provide confidence in your design.
We design products for users and our product will be successful only when our users will be able to use it. So it is really necessary to perform Usability Testing before your product comes live.
I have seen many such cases where our assumption or perception plays negative roll in designing any product and we don’t test. But actually each small and big thing of your product should be tested by UX Designers or analyst.
Usability testing is not only a method or technique to validate products but it is also a skill which helps you to understand users.
In upcoming articles we will looking at different testing methods and more deep into Usability testing.

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