Building an application is not a simple design and code. You have to perfect it. An attractive application should not be your priority, but it has present all the information and functionality a user needs.

But, how do you know if your application fits into the category? The answer is quite simple (But it is super hard to do, in some cases) — you ask the public about their user experience on your application.

When people use your app, they will give an honest opinion about your application or what improvements they want.

This type of information gathering will help you improve your site and gather more audience. This procedure is what this article will discuss.

What is Usability Testing?

Usability testing of a website or product is a technique that helps in the evaluation of these services by testing it on users. Usability testing consists of multiple tasks that a person has to follow.

Usability testing is set up by the product or application owners, whereas people are selected to conduct the test. Once the test is complete, the owners can know what the users think of their product or application.

The main aim of usability testing is to reveal what lacks in a product/application so the owners can improve it.

Types of Usability Testing

Here are some of the usability testing categories:

1. Explorative vs. Assessment vs. Comparative Testing

  • Explorative:

The explorative approach allows the users to assess the effectiveness and usability of the product and website at the early stages. The users can suggest changes to the design or prototype and any other conceptual changes they would like to see.

  • Assessment:

Some people prefer letting the users assess the overall usability in the midway. The assessment approach helps judge the technology evaluation through real-time trials to tell if the software fulfills the effectiveness criteria.

  • Comparative:

This model is a bit extensive. The users are asked to do a usability test on two comparative websites and items. One is your website, and the other is a high-profile one. Then the users tell the strengths and weaknesses of your product and things that could be better.

2. Moderated vs. Unmoderated

  • Moderated:

It is required to have a trained researcher who will administer the moderated testing session. This researcher needs to test all the participants by answering their questions and queries. This type of testing produces a much more precise result since it requires direct interaction between the participants who are doing the testing and the researchers. One main downside of this approach is that it is expensive to run and organize since it requires numerous materials such as hiring a trained researcher, renting a room, and compensating all the participants.

  • Unmoderated:

As the term itself, this type of testing is done without supervision. Participants and researchers most likely may not be in the same room together since they are in their own place/home and use their own devices for their testing purposes. Due to fewer constraints, the cost of doing unmoderated testing is lowered compared to the moderated.

Why is it Important for Product Development?

There are many reasons usability testing is vital for your product. Here are some of the reasons.

1. To Avoid Competition:

There are millions of applications. Many of these apps would be similar to the ones you made. What do you think will make your application stand out among them?

The Impression!

Your application must be vibrant enough to attract users at first glance. But, it would be best if you were minimal in your navigation. Keeping the navigation simple will keep the users’ attention intact, and they won’t leave.

2. To Avoid Loss:

No company wants to go at a loss. There is no use in making an application when you cannot make it simple for the public. The sales will decrease dramatically, and your app will attract fewer users — eventually, you will go into a loss.

High-quality applications attract more daily traffic resulting in increased revenues and sales. Your site starts to give a tough competition to bigger names.

3. It Validates Your Product:

Invite some users to let them see how you develop your product. Analyze their reaction before finalizing the product. If you test on a prototype before finalizing it, it can validate the concept and help you make a better product. It will save you some bucks too.

4. It Helps Meet Expectations:

What if you are a software engineer and a client wants a flawless application from you? Usability testing would help meet clients’ expectations. The best thing is that you can perform the test over and over again until you perfect it.

5. It Helps Resolve Complex Flows:

Some website features are too complex. Suppose you have developed an e-commerce/online shopping website, and obviously, have a checkout process. You need to test the checkout process multiple times to ensure that users can understand it and confirm shopping with ease.

6. It Helps Generate a Heat Map:

Usability testing allows you to generate a heat map. This heat map will show which portions of the website the users are paying attention to and which ones are neglected. You can try to improve the ignored sections and improve your landing page as well.

7. It Helps Identify Minor Errors:

Big errors are easier to catch because they are larger in size. It comes to those minor changes that are often overlooked every time. Usability testing can help the developers check and correct grammatical issues, broken links, site errors, and other similar issues.

8. It Helps Understand The User:

If you’re developing a public product, you should know more about what the public wants. Let the targeted audience do a usability test to know more about your application’s services, and you will learn things from their perspective.

The Checkpoints before Testing

You need to complete these checkpoints before conducting the usability test.

User’s Consent:

It would be best if you asked for the user’s consent before starting the usability test. Once they confirm, start the test. In the end, ask again to keep the test results and use the data for further use. This dual consent is necessary.

Describe It:

Describe your intentions about the test to the user. Tell them what they should expect from it and what the metrics are to assess the test. Describe your product/service to the test audience too.

Try First:

Do a usability test on your usability test. Check for any errors or missing information. If there is no issue, then conduct the test.

Don’t Overdo:

Lastly, keep it simple. The public doesn’t like to do long testings. Keeping it to the point will help them do the test better.

How To Do The Test?

  • A successful usability test is the one that comes with a simple testing script.
  • Outline the goals.
  • Define the magnitude of the test and the number of participants.
  • Include some background questions.
  • Add some follow-up questions.
  • Ask for consent and add a recording tool to it.
  • Be more descriptive than a Yes/No.

Conclusion

Once your test is done, try to make a simple and easy-to-understand report with all the facts and findings. Work on your application according to the report. That’s it!