What you don’t know, CAN hurt you. Usability Testing is the process through which you test whether or not your users can, well… use your product/service. This method allows you to test ease of use, ease of adaptability and if users can quickly recover from errors. Being unaware if there are issues in these areas can cost you time and resources. However, having this knowledge empowers you to make adjustments to circumvent issues later on.
Why Use Usability Testing?
Knowledge is Power. Knowing what your user loves about your product or what they struggle with will guide you in how to improve your product/service. This knowledge allows you to identify and circumvent potential pain points early on, so that you can create better products/services , improve customer satisfaction and reduce costs to your organization.
How to Conduct a Usability Test:
The key to Usability Testing is observation. A test can be done either in person or remotely. However an in-person session is preferable as it allows for direct questioning of the user. The steps to a successful in-person Usability Testing Session are as follows:
Recruit potential users of the product
Make the users as comfortable as possible
Ask them to complete specific tasks
Ask questions about what they are doing and experiencing
Ask them to think out loud and share thoughts/ideas with you.
Record what happens during the session
Analyze your notes to develop solutions and alterations to your product/service to create a better user experience
This clip provided by Wisc-Online, walks the viewer through the design concept of Usability Testing.