The biggest benefit of usability testing is identifying problems users might encounter with your software. Different people interact with layouts and applications differently. They navigate by their own rules. This helps turn up issues that would otherwise go overlooked. You receive data and feedback that helps improve overall user experience.
What is Usability Testing
Usability tests helps determine the ease with which the user interface can be used. It tests whether the application or product is user-friendly or not. It is like being a mind reader. It sounds like common sense but a lot of science goes into the process. It makes sure the interface is built in a way that fits the user’s expectations with respect to meeting requirements easily in a simplistic, satisfying manner.
There are three primary focuses: ease of use, ease of learning or familiarizing with the system, and user satisfaction with the entire experience. Structured usability tests translate a user’s experience and feelings into a validation process. You want your web and mobile applications and software to be embraced by your customer. To accomplish this, it depends on your product being efficient, simple, effective, appealing, easy, engaging, etc.
Results of these tests affect the design of a product. That means testing should start at the design level. The software goes through many changes, interpretations, and implementations through the systems development life cycle. Testing needs to start early and continue through the entire life cycle of software development. It needs to be conducted often and continuously. Testing can be done as an internal process, outsourced, or by hiring real time users.
Methods and Tools
There are many methods to determine if software meets certain user requirements. The simplest method is to draw your application design on a piece of paper and assess its efficacy. Another more exploratory method is to build the software and perform random tests. Have several of your internal teams give feedback on usability factors. Actually, hiring a set of real time users to work with the software and report back is another option. You can also use tools to provide statistics. You can outsource to usability testing companies.
There are many tools available to aid in this process. You can hire users to perform certain tasks. The facilitator watches their screen and interacts with them. Also other tools track user interaction using eye tracking and heat map. Some tools even provide surveys and encourage user comments.
Typically, if an activity is not a core competency of your team, you either develop your skill set or hire an expert to do the work for you. Testing is an essential part of software development. Yet, it is not a core competency of most companies. As the market becomes more demanding and competitive, defects are becoming less acceptable. It costs ten times more to fix a bug once the product is on the market than to fix it during the development phase.
Outsourcing is a great option for usability testing. It can reduce costs while speeding up testing and improving quality. Tasks and activities that consume resources and time should be outsourced. This allows for greater capacity, flexibility, and scalability as well as the benefit of independent validation. Companies like QAwerk have teams of specialists with the patience and eye for spotting problems and developing solutions. Users need to be able to accomplish basic tasks easily and quickly the first time they see the design. Tests are run making sure the application directs users at all stages of interaction.
These companies use many methods and techniques. They range from hallway testing to heuristic testing to writing scenarios and expert evaluations. Other tests include removing redundant data, analyzing navigation flow and its simplicity, localization review, and studying the behavior of interactive elements.
Usability testing is a necessary step in the software development process. It should start at the early stages of design and continue at frequent intervals all the way through the life cycle of the product. Releasing an application that has defects can be costly. Many companies lack the competency to run these tests to the extent necessary for today’s competitive market.
Outsourcing is a great option for these tasks. They consume resources and time that could be spent developing great software. Outsourcing to specialized teams improves the quality of your product while reducing costs.
Article Submitted By Community Writer