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Why Usability Testing is crucial for product development?


Published On July 20, 2018 By Kaustubh

Usability testing is a test used to find how user-friendly the product is. This test is conducted on real users so that we can understand how the user feels while using the product and how comfortable the user is with the product. Users are told to do a few tasks or activities on the product to see where they are facing problems or having confusions.

Usability testing also can be done on different online services like websites, Apps, etc. to evaluate how easy or user-friendly the website is to use. The researchers just observe the users and take notes on where the user faced problems. If problems are faced by the users then it is took under consideration.

Usability testing is done using two techniques, Qualitative technique and Quantitative technique. But it is largely a qualitative research technique and is statistical like surveys where lots of people participate. Qualitative technique gives a clearer view of the user experience and thus helps in improving the product, if required. An ideal usability testing user group should have 5-7 real users.

Some useful statistics about usability testing-

- 48% of the users find it annoying when the site they are looking for is poorly optimized for mobile.

- Almost 88% of online customers say that they don’t return to websites that were not user-friendly.

- 70% of online businesses fail because of bad usability of the websites or Apps.

- Each dollar spent on optimization of product usability generates nearly around 100 dollars return on increased conversion rate.

Several types of usability tests are carried out which helps in various phases of the product development. The company should decide which type of test to use in which phase, which will benefit them. It is highly recommended by experts that the usability test should be done using a prototype and then according to the changes the final product should be prepared.

Types of Usability Testing-

Expert Review: Experts from industries are asked to use the product so that they can find out minute errors in the product, if any.

Desktop Analysis: Assess plans, drawings, simulations, function flow charts, etc. are used to check for the usability before making the actual product.

Laboratory Evaluation: Assess product or prototype performance under standardized conditions.

Field Trials: Testing in real-life condition by giving the products to real users for a few days or weeks to check its usability.

Various one-to-one interviews can be conducted to understand the users’ point of view about the product working.

If usability testing is done at an early stage when the product is at the development stage, the problems occurred can be easily fixed. If it is done using a prototype, changes can be done in the product before making the final product. If it is done after the product launch, the users can use the actual product and tell about the problems faced, if any. This can be a bit costly because the product is already launched.

Advantages-

- To see if the product matches business decisions to real-world use.

- To check if product meets user’s expectations.

- The testing allows you to see how friendly users are with the product.

- Useful for getting user reactions and feedback about the product.

- It helps to removes flaws in the product.

The objective of usability testing is to test the experience with the functionality of the product. It gives the researcher evidence of the product functioning and performance which will ultimately help in the success of the product in the market. It should be done in the product design and development phase with knowing and understanding user needs and then evaluating whether those needs are met or not.