School of Information Systems

What is Usability Testing

Usability Testing refers to evaluating a product or service by testing it with representative users. Typically during a test, participants will try to complete typical tasks while observers watch, listen, and take notes. The goal of usability testing is to identify any usability problems, collect qualitative and quantitative data and determine the participant’s satisfaction with the product. In User Experience, after developer create the prototype, it’s common for targeted users to do usability testing. This usability testing we called it Qualitative usability testing on a prototype to find out which changes need to be made.

There are 2 types of Qualitative usability testing, which are :

  1. Within-subjects (or repeated-measures) study design : the same person tests all the conditons (i.e., all the user interfaces).
  2. Between-subjects study design : Different people test each version of the design, so that each person is only exposed to a single user interface.

There are several benefits of Usability Testing, as follows :

  1. Learn if participants are able to complete specified tasks successfully and Identify how long it takes to complete specified tasks
  2. Find out how satisfied participants with your product
  3. Identify changes required to improve user performance and satisfaction
  4. Analyze the performance to see if it meets your usability objectives

Usability Testing Lab :

But commonly, because of certain condition, effective Usability Testing does not require a formal usability lab for testing. You can do effective usability testing in any of these settings:

  • Fixed laboratory having two or three connected rooms outfitted with audio-visual equipment
  • Room with portable recording equipment
  • Room with no recording equipment, as long as someone is observing the user and taking notes
  • Remotely, with the user in a different location (either moderated or unmoderated)

Your testing costs depend on :

  • Type of testing performed
  • Size of the team assembled for testing
  • Number of participants for testing
  • Number of days you will be testing

If you want to perform Mobile Device testing, you have to know the mobile device that the user should have to test your application. The type of phone the participant must have, what generation of phone (if necessary), how the test is structured, consider how frequently you will need to perform testing. You also have to ensure there is connectivity in the space. Make sure that there is a good cross section of wireless carriers getting service in the area you intend to test. Connectivity is not always universal and you must pilot test before your participants arrive.

After you prepare the device, it is also important to prepare several test cases scenario for the participants, so the participants know how to do when the test session begin. It’s only simple test cases like :

  1. Perform User Login
  2. Try to buy electronic product (for e-commerce platform for example)
  3. Try to do payment

During usability testing, you will get several feedback from user regarding your application or website.

Marisa Karsen