Here is a step-by-step process that will give you a better and deeper understanding of the Usability Testing process.
Step One: Preparing a Plan
The essential elements that form the very first step towards a successful test is chalking out the scope, the purpose, the timing and location, the equipment, the participants, and the scenario of the test.
Step Two: Defining Roles
It is crucial to define the roles of every person involved in the usability testing process, or else it is hardly possible for one person to manage and monitor the entire process all by themselves. Compiling a list of team members and defining their roles will make things a lot easier and more organised.
Step Three: Focusing on Metrics
Identifying the metrics that are going to be collected during the session is also an essential step. There are two types of metrics:
• Quantitative Metrics: These depend on the purpose of testing. For instance, it is better if you know how many people achieved the task goal, how much time they spent on a task, how many errors they made, etc.
• Subjective Metrics: These are participants’ answers to questions about their satisfaction, ease of tasks, likes, dislikes, etc. Asking for recommendations about the usability of the product can also be helpful at this step.
Step Four: Recruiting Participants
Recruiting participants belonging to the product’s target group is just not enough. There can also be more than one potential user group. Therefore, ensuring representatives from all these groups participate in the session is important.
Step Five: Running a Pilot Test
A pilot test is essential before running the actual one. This should not be skipped under any circumstances, as it will help you observe whether you are well-prepared or not. Based on these, amendments must be incorporated into your scenario: tasks, equipment, timing, etc.
Step Six: Conducting a Real Task
Now, the real test must be conducted following the scenario, moderate sessions wisely, and be attentive to participants but however not leading them. Careful attention must be given to observing, or else it may end up deriving inaccurate results.
Step Seven: Analysing Findings
After the session is finished, analysing the findings must be done. It is the most important part of the entire process to get the information you need. Summarising the gathered data must be then interpreted with analytical and logical reasoning.
Step Eight: Reporting and Discussing the Results
Writing a summary report and organising the results in a digestible format is the next step in the process. This gives a clearer idea to the team. Presenting the same to the team also falls under this step. Discussing the results is very important as it brings up great ideas about how to improve the product and can come to light.
Step Nine: Improving the Product
Nothing can be perfect, and testing reveals the weaknesses of the products. Working on these weaknesses can improve the product, increasing usability and ensuring it meets the goals originally set.
Usability testing plays a major role in all stages of product development, especially in user experience. Here are some of the best practises in usability testing that we use to show how our user experiences work.
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