Usability Testing And How To Perform It?

Usability Testing And How To Perform It?

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Anshuman
Anshuman Singh
Senior Executive - Content
Updated on Dec 23, 2022 17:31 IST

How do you ensure that the product or software you created meets the expectations or satisfies the end-users or the client? One of the best ways to accomplish that is to perform Usability Testing.

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Many of us may be unfamiliar with the term “Usability Testing.” If you are one of those, don’t worry. You will have a thorough understanding of Usability Testing after reading this article.

So, without further ado, let us first explore the topics listed in the table of contents (TOC) that we will be covering in this article before delving into all of the information that is there to know about Usability Testing.

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What is Usability Testing?

Usability Testing Definition: Usability Testing is a type of software testing technique that gauges the application/software based on user-friendliness, efficiency, and accuracy.

Usability Testing is a sort of non-functional testing and is also known as User Experience (UX) Testing. In lay terms, usability testing measures how easy and user-friendly a software application is.

Sometimes testers also use this testing technique in order to compare two or more software performing the same function/task. Some of the significant parameters or constraints that usability testing gauges are:

  • Look and feel
  • Features
  • Speed
  • Compatibility
  • Ease of navigation 
  • Components location, etc.

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Usability Testing Example

Suppose two applications/software, A and B, perform the same task. Testers decided to conduct UX testing on both software to find which one is better. 

So, you presented both of the software in front of a small target audience (group of 10 individuals) and asked them to use the software in order to perform the task. The first group consisting of five people is requested to use software A. Software B has to be used by the remaining individuals. 

After some time, when you analyzed the results, you found that the team using A software completed the task in 20 minutes. On the other hand, using software B took 34 minutes to accomplish the same task. 

Completing the task using software A took 20 minutes rather than 34 minutes. Hence it is more user-friendly and easy to use. This is a typical example of usability testing.

You can also explore: Software Engineer Online Courses & Certifications

Usability Testing Methods

There are various usability testing methods. Let’s explore some of the most popular methods, such as:

Guerilla testing: This is the most basic type of testing, in which you take the software to a public location, such as a coffee shop, and randomly select test participants. It is low-cost and straightforward testing that allows for real user feedback.

Lab testing: This testing is carried out in a separate lab room in the presence of the observers. Because a secure environment is required for lab testing, it can be costly to organize and run. This type of testing is proper when you need detailed info about how genuine users interact with your software and what problems they encounter.

Remote testing: This type of testing is done remotely without the presence of an observer. Participants in the tests complete tasks in their own environment using their own devices, resulting in the product being used naturally. This type of testing is fast, reliable, and inexpensive.

You can also explore: Free Software Engineer Courses Online

How to Perform Usability Testing?

You can perform a usability test efficiently by using/following the steps shown below in the image:

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Let’s explore each of these steps in detail:

Planning

In this phase/step, you create a detailed plan and determine goals, objectives, and critical functionalities. In this phase, you must also decide which usability testing method you will use, the number of testers you require, etc.

Recruiting

In this phase/step, you recruit the testers you require for conducting usability tests. 

Conducting a Usability Test

In this phase/step, your testers gauge the application/software based on user-friendliness, efficiency, and accuracy.

Data Analysis

In this phase/step, you analyze the result you have gotten after conducting a usability test in order to provide recommendations to improve the overall usability of your software.

Reporting

In this phase/step, you prepare a thorough report and present it in front of concerned stakeholders, designer, developer, CEO, and client.

You can also explore: Software Testing Online Courses & Certifications

Main Objective to Perform Usability Testing

The main objective of performing a usability test is to gauge the application based on user-friendliness, efficiency, and accuracy before the product is released. The secondary goal of conducting a usability test is to find hidden issues, compare benchmarks, and use the acquired result to compare against other websites.

Why is Conducting Usability Testing Important?

Usability testing is critical because the results will help you understand what areas need improvement and what types of difficulties or errors the end user may encounter while using the software/application. It also allows you to compare the finished product to other products on the market. Thus, giving you an edge to produce a better product.

Conducting a usability test is also crucial because of various other factors, such as:

  • To judge whether the build software/application is user-friendly or not.
  • Investigate whether the build software/application is easy to learn.
  • Gauge whether the build software/application consists of effective notifications.
  • To judge whether the build software/application has error-handling capabilities.
  • Investigate whether the build software/application has a quick response time.
  • Gauge whether the build software/application attracts the user’s interest.
  • To judge whether the build software/application is easy to understand.

Ultimately, it all comes down to making the product as simple, attractive, user-friendly, and error/bug-free as possible before making the software/application public. 

Advantages of Conducting Usability Tests

Here are some of the most noticeable advantages of conducting a usability test:

  • Provides precise user responses/feedback
  • Assists you in validating the software’s usability
  • Informs where your product stands in terms of easiness
  • Assists you in making the software more convenient and relevant
  • Enhances the sufficiency and uniformity of the software product
  • Helps you to find or catch hidden issues that you might have missed in other types of software testing

Disadvantages of Conducting Usability Tests

There are only two significant disadvantages of conducting a usability test, such as:

  • Requires a lot of time and resources in order to gather testers, prepare the testing environment, etc.
  • Needs a lot of capital (quite expensive) in order to recruit and manage testers

Conclusion

Usability testing is a powerful software testing strategy/technique for all companies since it offers accurate, authentic, and actionable data from your clients and target audience members. The product received after this testing is ensured to be easy to use and meet the user’s expectations. As a result, this testing should not be avoided or overlooked.

You should also remember that relying solely on UX testing and ignoring other software testing techniques, such as black box testing, acceptance testing, performance testing, load testing, etc., is not good. This is because UX testing is not a perfect representation of the actual situation and can’t cover everything other testing covers.

About the Author
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Anshuman Singh
Senior Executive - Content

Anshuman Singh is an accomplished content writer with over three years of experience specializing in cybersecurity, cloud computing, networking, and software testing. Known for his clear, concise, and informative wr... Read Full Bio