Monday, 8 June 2015

What is Usability Testing

“Usability testing is a technique used in user-centered interaction design to evaluate a product by testing it on real 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.

Objectives

  • Validate how well the design worked
  • Look for opportunities to improve the design
  • Look for insights into user experience (UX)

The Purpose of Usability Testing is "Feedback"

  • Feedback is fundamental to survival.
  • Goal-Directed behavior depends on feedback.
  • Dynamic systems use feedback to adapt.
  • Usability Testing enables design improvements/corrections.

Usability Testing of  What?

Usability Testing can evaluate any dimension of a UI design.
Depending on the prototype’s phase and its needs, Usability Testing can evaluate:


Types of Usability Testing

Don’t wait until the end. Find usability problems throughout the
design process.
  • Formative testing
    Formative Usability Testing happens at the start of the design phase, testing with paper-prototypes, wireframes, visual designs. Do this to discover insights and shape the design direction.
  • Summative testing
    Summative Usability Testing happens with actual working prototypes. Do this to determine metrics (time on task, success rates), which you would then compare test results from improved versions against.


Why 'Early Prototype Testing' is required

Early prototypes of any application includes below mentioned things
  • Paper prototypes
  • Low fidelity wireframes
  • Visual design
This graph represent the 'Resistance to change design' vs. 'Efforts invested'. When we move in application development cycle from 'Hand sketches' to 'wireframes' and so on, the efforts in iterating design gets increase. It is recommended to conduct Usability testing from early prototypes.


Evaluating Early Prototypes - Testing Methods


In the upcoming articles we will be looking each testing method in detail. 

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