Have you heard the statistics that 21% of website users shifts from using the application after the only one first use. 79% of users that were not able to find what they were looking for would look for another website. “Ease of use” is defined as the most important feature for mobile apps by 97% of users. These figures show that there is no matter how much the app, website or other product you have built is useful, well-designed and up-to-date, it will all be for nothing if it is difficult to use. 

So what is usability? The most simple definition of ‘‘usability’’ is when a product or service is truly usable, the user can do what he or she wants to do the way he or she expects to be able to do it, without hindrance, hesitation, or questions. There are 5 main criteria which the usability term involves:

  • Usefulness. It concerns the motivation to use the product, the product’s or it’s functionality desirability, necessity and . 
  • Efficiency usually is a time measure on how quickly it was possible to achieve the goal.
  • Effectiveness means the degree to which a product behaves as users expect, and the ease with which users can use it to fulfill their intentions.
  • Satisfaction refers to the emotions on the experience of using the product.
  • Accessibility is an access to the products which are necessary to achieve a goal. 

For sure you can remember, nothing pushes away more than  not user friendly, full of bugs application which seems useless, when you have a feeling that it is stealing you time. But how to deal with these common issues?

Achieving  delightful, useful and usable products is part of the large discipline of user-centered design (UCD) which includes a list of methods and techniques. Test usability is one of them,  when the development starts with the user as the focus. 

What is ux testing? The roots of the test usability methodology takes place from classical approach of holding an experiment under control.  This method of friendly user testing requires that:

  • The hypothesis is defined. The first thing which should take place when planning the test is to set the hypothesis of what events would take place during testing. We ensure a deep dive into the specifics of the product in order to estimate as much precise hypothesis as possible, covering all features of the product.
  • The target group is determined and selected. While traditional testing can be conducted by any representative of the development team, usability testing removes any bias by collecting feedback direct from the end user. Due to our rich crowdsourcing opportunities, including people of all ages, ethnicity, education, employment, location and marital status you will see the content from the perspective of only targeted end users coming to it for the first time. 
  • Control of the process. The experiments control plays an important role during the testing process otherwise  the validity of the results can be called into question. The participants have to have more or less the same experience before and during the test.
  • Appropriate users sample size has to be set. Too small sample size can lead to not correct conclusions.

Why is it important?

From the perspective of most of the companies, user experience testing is one of the main ways to improve the profitability of products. How to achieve this goal? 

The main overall target of the research is to collect data on basis of which the drawbacks are find out and remedied. With the help of this received consolidated information it is possible to develop a useful and valuable, easy to learn product which help users to be effective and efficient, feel satisfaction from achieving the goals due to your product. 

Another point of the profitability is the simplicity with which the product can be used. When minimizing the frustration of using a product by excluding the flaws in the design, you demonstrate that the organization considers the goals and priorities of its clients to be important. Moreover, a friendly-user product will require less support after the release. 

Have you heard that 80% of users will share their positive experience of using the product with other potential users. What is more, the customers always tent to stay loyal for further releases due to great first experience

And probably the main benefit of the UX test is minimizing risk of releasing the product with serious usability issues. There are plenty of examples when the product failed because so-called testing was conducted trying the product in the marketplace. Certainly, such a painful experience shouldn’t be repeated. 

Comparative usability testing

The comparative usability testing is usually used to compare side-by-side two or more definitely opposite designs. The data on effectiveness and preferences are collected for each alternative variant and then the results are compared. This type of testing can be useful during all stages of the development lifecycle. For example, it the early stages this type of testing can be involved when comparing several profoundly different interface designs, while in the middle of lifecycle the developer can receive an important information regarding effectiveness of a single element. By the end of the development lifecycle, the comparison with the competitors can be held. All in all, the comparison usability testing helps to get insights on which design is easier to learn or use, to establish the advantages and disadvantages of any elements, designs, products. 

Another aim of this study is to find out why one alternative variant is preferable to another, and which aspects of each variant are favorable and unfavorable. Sometimes happens that when comparing one or more alternatives in this way, it turns out that there is no best variant. In such cases, the best design turns out to be a combination of designs from different alternatives, as a result we receive a winning hybrid design.

Explorative usability testing

In comparison to the comparison usability testing, the explorative testing takes place in the early phase of the development cycle. As a result of the study, the user profile and usage model have to be determined. An extensive interaction between the researcher and test moderator can be observed to set the preliminary design concepts. One of the means to get the answers to very fundamental questions is to develop preliminary versions of the product’s interface for evaluation by representative users. As a part of the study, the ideas on how to make the puzzling areas updated should be collected. As against later tests where there is more emphasis on measuring how well the user is able to perform by collecting quantitative data, here you strive to understand why the user performs as he or she does by collecting qualitative data.  

This early usability analysis and research type shouldn’t be underestimated as this is the project stage when critical design decisions lay the groundwork of all that goes further. If at this stage the premises about the end user are erroneous, certainly the product will have usability problems later.

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