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What is Usability Testing?

Usability testing is a method used to evaluate the user experience of a website, app, or other digital product. It involves observing real users as they execute a number of tasks. The primary goal of user testing is to identify issues and reveal opportunities that allow for improvement. It’s a way to eliminate assumptions and gain a deep understanding of the target user’s behaviors and preferences.

Discover Product and Design Flaws

Through usability testing, you can discover design flaws that might not be apparent initially. As you watch how users interact while they try to complete various tasks, you’ll find out what confuses them and whether certain tasks are taking longer than others. You can then use this insight to improve the overall user experience.

An Iterative Process

In most cases, UX researchers perform iterative testing over the course of several weeks or months. This allows designers to continually refine the design. To reap optimal benefits from user testing, it’s important to:

Create User Tasks:

What Usability Testing Isn’t

There are a number of UX tools that are designed to improve the customer experience. These tools, however, don’t depict the experience of real users testing a website’s functionality. Therefore, they’re not considered user testing tools. Some examples of these UX tools include:

Why is Usability Testing Important?

Usability testing is a major part of user design. It can teach you about the behaviors, needs, and expectations of your users upfront. Whether you’re designing a website, app, or any other digital product, it’s well worth your time and effort. The most noteworthy benefits of usability testing are as follows:

Increases Conversion

A pleasant user experience is key if you’d like to convert users. Since usability testing focuses on improving the way users interact with a digital asset, it might be just what you need to boost conversion rates.

Saves Development Time

Resolving issues in the heart of the development phase is not only time-consuming, it’s also expensive. When usability testing is performed early on, you can enjoy a more efficient development process.

Prevents Issues

Problems with your design can hinder the effectiveness of your website or app. With usability testing, you’ll be able to avoid issues like spelling and grammar mistakes, inconsistent branding, poor layout, and ineffective tasks that require too much effort.

Creates a Better Product

Usability testing is an ongoing process. It provides you with knowledge that will allow you to continually optimize your product so that it meets your user's exact needs and wants. Without it, it will be a real challenge to design the best possible asset for your unique goals.

Decide What You’re Testing

The ideal type of user testing depends on your particular goals. Here are some options you may want to consider.

Conduct a Cognitive Walk-through

You can use a cognitive walk-through to assess how easy it is to use your digital product. In general, it involves three main steps: identify the user goal you want to study, figure out what tasks must be completed to accomplish the goal, and document the experience while the tasks are being performed.

Let’s say you’re a restaurant and your goal is for a user to make a reservation on your website. To do so, they’ll need to click on the “reservation” button on your home page and share some information like the number of people in their party and date they’d like to dine at your venue.

You can ask someone on your team that hasn’t been involved with the development process to reserve a spot at your restaurant through your website. If they’re able to successfully, you’ll know your reservation feature is well designed and easy to use.

User Observations

By observing users as they interact with your asset, you’ll uncover strengths and weaknesses with its usability and overall user experience. Depending on your preferred sample size, you can conduct observations fairly quickly with minimal training.

Imagine you’re an accounting firm with a brand new website. You have multiple pages on your that explain your services and include various calls to actions. By observing users before you launch, you’ll know whether people will actually read your services pages, which ones seem to generate the most interest, and how easy it is for users to take your desired actions.

How to Recruit Users for Usability Studies

While some user testing platforms require you to find your own pool of test-takers, other platforms have users you can take advantage of. Thankfully, when using UserBob for your usability testing, there is no need to outreach and recruit users for your usability testing. We have a pool of candidates ready to help make your website or web app better.

Invest in Usability Testing

It might be tempting to bring your website or app to market without testing it. Doing so, however, will likely cost you time, money, and headaches down the road. By investing in usability testing, you can improve your user experience without the guesswork. It can make all the difference in the success of your product.