Usability testing is a test of the consistency and clarity of a site or application for its end user. Companies use usability testing services in order to check whether their product meets the expectations of users and how easy it is for them to solve their problems with its help.
Often, usability testing is carried out in two stages: the user passes N number of tasks (quantitative or qualitative tests), as well as a conversation, filling out questionnaires or in-depth interviews with the user (qualitative research).
As a rule, it should be carried out when an interface in the form of a paper or digital prototype or a ready-made software product has already been formed, and you want to understand what problems arise in the work and how the product meets user expectations.
The testing process takes on average from one month to three. It depends on many factors: the availability of different types of product, the complexity of the scenarios and the availability of their alternatives, the number of user roles.
In carrying out usability testing, we highlight the following stages:
- definition of the goal;
- test plan creation;
- determination of the number of researchers;
- determination of the target audience;
- obtaining user consent;
- organization of access;
The 10 rules for user interface design by Jacob Nielsen perfectly describe the main aspects that need to be checked during usability testing:
- Informativeness of the system. The user should always know the current status of the application.
- The proximity of the application to the real world. The dialogue with the user should be conducted in a language that he understands, being careful not to use incomprehensible terminology.
- System escape routes. The application should always have “escape routes” from any functionality that the user has mistakenly launched.
- Unambiguity. All terms, functions and concepts should be described in a single interpretation – there should be no confusion for the user.
- Providence. The system should in every possible way "protect" the user from possible errors.
- Visibility. The user should not rack his brains trying to understand what he needs to do or trying to remember how he reached this or that state of the system. Possible manipulations with the program must be constantly visual.
- Flexibility and efficiency. Provide advanced users with the ability to avoid routine actions, and at the same time, it is necessary to hide the expansion of functionality from the inexperienced.
- Conciseness and precision. Dialogues should contain only the information that needs to be conveyed to the user, nothing superfluous.
- Loyalty to mistakes. Information about errors should be understandable and contain hints for further actions.
- Permanent help. No matter how informative the system is designed - it should always contain a section of help and documentation.