UX Design — Week 7: Usability Testing

What is Usability Testing?

This is a way to figure out if the product meets the goals and works the correct way by testing with external and real-life users.

Typically, they’re asked to complete several tasks which is designed by the researcher.

Usability testing helps find out the expectation for the designated product as well as identify any current problems that are occurring. Initially the testing allows provide and gain feedback, improve performances and satisfaction. This is mostly the effective way to gain reasonable feedback.

Testing can begin as early as when the product or design is being created, you can test as you go along. But also, can be done at any time you feel — i.e., when adding something new, it’s good to go back and run the test to see if this runs the correct way. The testing doesn’t have to just be on the final product but also on any new designs, drawing and prototypes.

The Usability testing can fall in the stages as follows:

  • Planning
  • Recruit
  • Conduct
  • Analyse
  • Report

Planning the usability is good form of beginning the testing. The team can lay out an agreement in how to perform the testing. As well as ensure that the tests are consistent with each participant. Recruiting within the testing phase can be anyone. This can be internal and external users. Conducting the exercises to the ensure the full testing procedure is allowed. To which this follows to analysing and reporting. Once the full measurements have taken place in the testing, there needs to be some form written documentation which show how this testing actioned and what feedbacks were given.

When performing the tests, its vital to remember what the goals are and who the target audience are. It can help by noting down realistic and actionable tasks to follow and complete. The size of the testing all depends on the scale of the project. the larger the project, the larger the usability testing will be.

After learning the key points of the Usability Testing, I’ve become more vary of how important this is, especially for prototype I’m working on for my Module. I want to make sure that my prototype is in a working shape and with error free. Generally, I regularly go back to check if anything new I’ve just added is working — I like to test as I go along. But I now see that having someone else to test my prototype will be important as I will be able to gain feedback from their perspective and I could use the feedback to make changes or improvements to the prototype.

Update

Currently the Usability testing hasn’t taken place as the design work is still in place. I will hope to do this once I have completed the prototype to which then I will perform tests for the final product and see if the prototype is working as, it should. This will be important as I don’t want to showcase a non-working prototype.

Since the usability testing is taking place in the end after completing the prototype, I could be in a spot where I may not have much time to do this. Although currently I am on track of doing this early and therefore should be able to do the testing. If I have followed the steps properly, then when testing the product, there shouldn’t be much of issue apart from small nibbles.

When performing the test, I will have the choice to either test the product myself or have someone test for me. I will try to do the latter and have them to note down key things that need improving. This will of course require some form of communication skills and taking notes of their opinions.

I will set a plan to perform the tests after completing the prototype. I will perform test myself as well as to have another individual to do so too. With this, I will use the feedback to improve on the product and fix any issues that is broken or not working correctly. I will hope to use the remaining weeks to complete testing and improve the prototype.

1. Falmouth University, March 2021, Week 7: Usability Testing, Falmouth University, Viewed 13th March 2021, Available at <https://flex.falmouth.ac.uk/courses/907/pages/week-7-usability-testing?module_item_id=49614>

2. Experienceux, ND, What is usability testing?, experienceux, Viewed 28th April 2021, Available at <https://www.experienceux.co.uk/faqs/what-is-usability-testing/>

Student At Falmouth University (Online Studies) — MA User Experience Design