What is Usability Testing?
Usability testing is a powerful technique for evaluating the way users experience your system, product or web site. Together with the client, we observe real participants perform agreed tasks, and discuss the usability issues that are the testing uncovers.
What are the Benefits of Usability Testing?
People who are involved in the design of a service, product or application, or involved in the business associated with it, are too close to it to see any potential problems.
Usability testing lets you experience your website, product or system as it really is – by observing real participants who have not previously been involved with its design or development. Even testing with one participant is likely to reveal something dramatic that you wouldn’t have otherwise known.
When Should we Test?
Ideally, we recommend testing as early in the development life-cycle as possible. Testing early can nip potential problems in the bud, avoiding costly fixes later in the process.
We can even carry out usability testing on early-stage prototypes, wireframes, paper prototypes or graphical mockups.
We also recommend an iterative, with repeat tests at key stages throughout the design and development process. The more you involve users in the process, the better the user experience will be.
How Many Participants Will we Need?
Not many. A seminal study by the Nielsen Norman group has shown that testing on just five users typically uncovers 85% of the issues. After that, the returns begin to diminish. Our experience is consistent with these findings.
We therefore recommend a minimum of five participants and a maximum of 20.
What is the Deliverable?
We will document thoroughly our usability reports and findings, ranking issues by type and degree of severity where appropriate. We will also recommend practical solutions for each issue.
This may be delivered as a PowerPoint presentation in a workshop forum, depending on your requirements.
Optionally, we may also provide a recording of the session, taken using screen-capture software.