A thorough test plan is important when it comes to usability of the software product. This may include both a set of tasks and questions and a methodological framework (metrics, hypothesis).
Usability should usually include 3 main aspects:
- the system should be easy-to-use;
- the system has to be logically designed so that the newcomer may easily understand what to do next (the website navigation);
- the general impression from using the app should be high.
A software testing company should check that this is the right time for the project to execute user testing. The procedure of checking usability requires particular cases and test suits. In general, this types of software testing starts with some common scenarios.
What is the basis for creating usability tests?
- These are user scenarios (user cases) which affect the business or are not related to the test objective. For example, the most frequent ones (sending messages) are those that affect business goals (payment form), connected with updatings (redesign or implementing of new functionality).
- Rather often the research should give an answer to the causes of the service business problems, e.g., why are there so many messages with the questions on a payment form.
- The project team has also the questions for research. For instance, whether the users notice the banner, advertising additional services or whether the certain section is clearly called.
- Usability tests are designed to check different hypotheses. Ideally, the client comes with the ready-made hypothesis. Unfortunately, in most cases the testers should formulate them independently in most cases.
The test team should think over those places when users behave not as expected. Besides, it is necessary to know each design element that was the subject of much controversy. It is a good practice to check the product independently, in order to detect some potential challenges for users which should be included in a final test.
Ideally, user interface testing should be firstly executed at the stage of designing architecture. As software undergoes modifications during its development lifecycle, user testing should be fulfilled as often as possible.
Usability checking may be conducted in 2 ways: internal (the test or development team perform manual testing); external (the third-party users are engaged in the test process).
The most important steps of performing UI/UX testing are:
- to select the way of how the tests will be executed: internal or external.
- to create the list of tasks for the users, engaged in a test procedure.
- to organize the parallel operation of the development team and users, working on the system.
- to collect and analyze outcomes, in order to reveal the weak points of the app.
Finally, usability testing is not simply bug detection, it is the way for a tester to improve existing functionality and meet both the client requirements and the end users expectations.