In Usability Testing, a small-set of target end-users, of a software system, “use” it to expose usability defects. This testing mainly focuses on the user’s-ease to use the application, flexibility in handling controls and ability of the system to meet its objectives.
This testing is recommended during the initial design phase of SDLC , which gives more visibility on the expectations of the users.
Goals of Usability Testing
Goal of this testing is to satisfy users and it mainly concentrates on the following parameters of a system:
Effectiveness of system
- Is the system is easy to learn?
- Is the system useful and adds value to the target audience?
- Is Content, Color, Icons, Images used are aesthetically pleasing ?
- Navigation required to reach desired screen/webpage should be very less. Scroll bars shouldn’t be used frequently.
- Uniformity in the format of screen/pages in your application/website.
- Provision to search within your software application or website
- No outdated or incorrect data like contact information/address should be present.
- No broken links should be present.
- Controls used should be self-explanatory and must not require training to operate
- Help should be provided for the users to understand the application / website
- Alignment with above goals helps in effective usability testing
Pros and Cons of Usability testing:
As with anything in life, usability testing has its merits and de-merits. Lets look at them
- It helps uncover usability issues before the product is marketed.
- It helps improve end user satisfaction
- It makes your system highly effective and efficient
- It helps gather true feedback from your target audience who actually use your system during usability test. You do not need to rely on “opinions” from random people.
- Cost is a major consideration in usability testing. It takes lots of resources to set up a Usability Test Lab. Recruiting and management of usability testers can also be expensive
However, these costs pay themselves up in form of higher customer satisfaction, retention and repeat business. Usability testing is therefore highly recommended.