15 Important Theses About Usability Testing

Usability testing is testing which allows identifying problems of the interface, including non-obvious, objectively assessing their number and importance. Only usability testing can guarantee that users will be able to take full advantage of the interfaces.

Effective website development (including design, aesthetics, navigation through the site and its contents) involves obtaining feedback from users. Feedback can be arranged in different ways and at different stages of life website. However, receiving feedback cannot be consider as a panacea for improving its effectiveness. 

  1. Ideally, web site development in the budget for development should be based on usability testing tools. But in reality, budgets are allocated to the design and development sites are quite diverse, and some smaller sites operated by one person or a small group of people who cannot afford to conduct such testing.

  2. No matter how small the budget allocated for usability testing. It is important to remember that the group of participants of testing must meet the target audience of the website; otherwise the investigation would not be ineffective.

  3. Usability testing can help to answer the following questions:

  • Do users understand the main purpose of the site?
  • Can users find the information they need and services on the website?
  • How easy is it to use these services?
  • How easy is to fill out forms (registration, authorization, filing all kinds of requests) for them?
  • Will the goals that defined the owners of the site be reached?

  4. You can investigate sites and evaluate the various methods developed by experts on usability. Even the simplest test is better than the absence of any testing at all.

  5. The actions of users should be closely monitored, carefully documented and analyzed.

  6. Users for testing should not be too familiar with the development of sites, because such users faster than conventional device can deal with the site, and can thus create the illusion that the site is understandable to the target audience.

  7. Some companies working in the field of Internet technologies offer to invite family members to bring your group of users to test their target audience.

  8. Monitoring of users for testing will provide more detailed information than just answers to questions in the survey. If the monitoring carried out thoroughly and correctly, then the results will reveal most of the problems the site.

  9. Usability testing involving real users may find that some parts of the site users find complex and confusing. Jakob Nielsen proposes to assess the problem of usability of a site based on three factors:

  • How often does this problem arise for different users?
  • Effect of the problem if it occurs: is it difficult or easy for the user?
  • How often the problem is occurs for one and the same user?

 10. During the usability test you should pay attention to what the user is doing, not what he says. Usually there is a substantial difference between what the user says, what he wants, and what will actually use. The only way to distinguish one from another is thorough usability testing.

 11. Thinking aloud helps to understand the cause of the problem during using the site, and work out a solution to fix it, but if using this method it becomes impossible to estimate the real-time job, because the need to speak significantly increases execution time.

 12. In the course of testing is necessary to inform users and to make sure that they clearly understand that it is tested the features of the site, not their abilities. Members should understand that testing is conducted to determine how easily they could perform certain tasks - so not always their requests for assistance are met.

 13. The optimal amount of testing is 6-9 users in each group. If the user is more than 9, then triggered the law of diminishing incremental return, i.e., the effort will not justify increasing the accuracy of the results.

 14. If testing is done with the involvement of children, it would be better if this will be one of the child's parents or guardian. This saves you from possible claims from them.

 15. Payment of users' time they spend on testing is a common practice. A rate of payment depends on the type of user (e.g. a student or a lawyer) and the project budget. Cheaper alternative of payment may be the involvement of relatives of employees who are not involved in the development of the site.