Usability Testing - Best Practices and Approach

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Usability testing provides feedback how well users can accomplish tasks using a GUI. Your product may match the specification, but that does not mean that it is intuitive, simple and concise. .How to make this testing a low-cost by QA Team. Commonly used approaches would be:

  • Hallway testing, Picking a random person in office and getting feedback on UI.
  • Task-based testing – Get a perception of how the user see your UI while performing certain tasks.
  • UX Guidelines compliance checking. This step may be mandatory for some companies, but may not add any real value in improving the GUI.

How can you further improve your usability testing while keeping the costs to minimum.

  • Some websites like UserTesting.com, have freelance testers.  You supply the instructions and the kind of tester you are looking for in terms of age range, kinds of computer/mobile device, etc. For $50 or less  a tester will follow your instructions and give you verbal and written feedback on their experience. Get a video recording of the entire session.
  • Pick an area in your application which seems to generate a lot of support calls. Then you can design some specific tasks to test. Write your scenarios and instructions carefully. These instructions should be short enough to be done in 15 mins or less. You can use multiple testers for 1 round of testing.
  • Just because a single tester finds something hard or confusing does not necessarily mean you need to make any changes in your product. Instead, you need to consider the circumstances and look for trends and hence hiring multiple testers will help.

Such Freelance tests are informal and inexpensive, they can be executed frequently and quickly, which means we are more likely to use them than we would if there were a lot of process/bureaucracy involved.

References

 Rocket Surgery Made Easy, By Steve Krug. – Practical and Short Read.