Getting Started With Usability Testing is actually simple if you know how to keep it simple. Are you doing usability tests regularly? If you aren’t don’t worry; you are not alone. Most people see it as an unnecessary expense. It doesn’t have to be like this, though. In reality, it will aid the product delivery process and reduce the overall cost of product design.
There are several explanations why usability testing isn’t done. Finding the time can be difficult, as many people believe it only needs to be done on larger projects. However, many people are simply overwhelmed by the concept and that It’s just way so much effort to put in testing a website or a digital product.
Usability testing is an essential part of the success of any digital product.
In my view, conducting a usability test is preferable to doing none at all, as long as you are aiming at a perfect result. I would rather conduct a usability test a improve the product slightly rather than abandon the entire idea owning to the fact that it requires a lot of effort.
I can guarantee that once you begin experimenting, you will soon see the merit, which will motivate you to devote more time and effort to conduct a usability test.
This article is intended to get you started. It aims to help you get a better understanding of the importance of usability testing to get you up and running as quickly as possible. Once you’ve seen its benefits I suggest enrolling in a course like “A Beginners Guide to Conducting Usability Testing” on Skillshare. That course will give you a more professional grounding on how to go about conducting a usability test.
There are several excellent courses available that will help you learn everything you need to know about extracting practical value from usability testing. Let’s start by removing some of the complexities that make usability testing seem so time-consuming.
Keep it Simple & focus on participants recruitments and Tasks Formulation.
Keeping a Usability Test simple is one way to get started with running a regular Usability Testing, this includes recruiting representative participants and creating realistic tasks.
To get started you can listen to the podcast: Clevenovia UX Cast on Usability Testing. Usability testing does not have to be difficult, many of the assumptions about usability testing are unnecessary as any web designer or product developer can easily conduct a usability test as part of their daily routine.
Some of the most important aspects are tasks and getting representative participants. I can’t stress the importance of creating a realistic task enough, because a Usability Test is a task-based process and tasks are meant to mirror what participant do, this gives a test facilitator a deeper insight into how representative users will use the product as there is a huge difference between having a great product idea and creating a product the way users will want to make use of it.
The second aspect is to focus on getting the right people, that is representative participants who would use the product in the real world. If you’re testing an e-commerce website, then there is a wider range of people who will fit into your participants’ profile. Unlike testing a university website, which requires people who are mainly students and sometimes lecturers depending on the project.
You don’t need to test a large number of people
Most people, especially those that are new to usability testing, often worry about the number of participants that they required to test. This is one of the major challenges people face with how to get started with usability testing. I know testing a lot of people seems better but research has found that about 5 to 6 people will relieve 70-80% of usability issues. You can learn more about participants recruitment for a usability test from this podcast link below.
Also, don’t worry too much about numbers. You don’t need to test large numbers of people. Yes, using more people is better. But after about 5-6 people the number of new issues found decreases dramatically. Numbers do matter if testing aesthetics, but they matter a lot less when testing usability. Even a handful of people will spot most of the issues.
One important thing to keep in mind is that multiple sessions with small numbers of people are far better than running a single usability test with a larger number of participants.
Having a Usability Lab is not a Prerequisite to conduct a Usability Test.
To get started with Usability Testing you don’t need a fancy lab. Most people think that before you can run an effective Usability test and often reliable results you need a fancy lab and lots of equipment. In reality, this is not true because you can run a usability test in a quiet environment it must not be a dedicated usability lab, as long as the environment is conducive.
The take-away message from this article
A with everything you will get better as you do them, conducting a usability test is doesn’t have to be a complex process as there are few things to consider:
- Keep it Simple
- Focus on recruiting representative participants,
- Create realistic tasks,
- Test regularly with a small number of people
- Follow established guidelines on how to conduct a usability test
This will help you get started with conducting a rigorous usability test that produces reliable results.