What is Usability Testing? How to do it?       


Having someone else look at your work objectively in almost any field is a good idea, but this is especially true in user experience and web design. Otherwise, your bias toward your work may distort how you view it. You can only create the best user experience by directly learning from the people who your work is genuinely for – your users.

Usability testing is a technique for assessing the usability of a website or product. UX researchers can determine whether their users can use their product or website quickly and intuitively by testing its usability with a representative group of their users or customers.

In an individual user session during usability research, the moderator gives participants a list of activities to perform while the rest of the team watches and takes notes. They can notice when people can efficiently finish tasks and where they are enjoying the user experience, running into issues, and needing clarification on watching real users use their product or service and listening to their praises and complaints about it. They will perform their research, assess the findings, and share any noteworthy results with the project manager.

What is usability testing with examples?

As a result of their intense involvement in creating a product, designers and developers frequently retain their bias when they perform software testing for a website or app. After weeks and months of daily consideration, it takes a lot of work for the same designer who created a product to notice its shortcomings. What should be done given that spotting these problems is essential to success? Testing for usability is the solution.

A product’s usability is evaluated through usability testing. Most of the time, the most effective approach to achieve this is to have consumers test your product while keeping an eye on their behavior. The ideal way to test your design is to have a user go through it. At the same time, you see them trying to buy food, for instance, if you are developing a website for a supermarket that allows consumers to complete their grocery shopping online.

The user should have no trouble navigating your interfaces and completing their task if this is successful. On the other side, if it failed, they would probably run across several faulty components, and you would see them becoming perplexed, trying to figure out what to do next, or even asking questions like “What do I do now?”

The purpose of usability testing is to simulate real-world situations in which the user will be utilizing your product. By watching their behavior, you can determine what could be done more effectively. Later, we’ll go into more detail regarding the testing procedures themselves.

What are the main features of usability testing?

Testing for usability is essential. Many businesses, large and small, need to consider the strategic direction of their product to respond to every user complaint raised during the crucial usability testing phases. If you click on this article, you already know how crucial usability testing is. But in case you’ve never heard it before… Usability testing is essential.

Here is a fantastic post we found about testing the usability of websites. It does an excellent job of dissecting the crucial components of usability testing. Here, we’re concentrating on the learning ability and feature availability of the first two components. We’ll then discuss some key lessons we discovered along the road.

Important Usability Testing Components:

Learnability: How simply can customers complete fundamental activities when using the product?

Efficiency: How quickly can knowledgeable users complete tasks?

Memo ability: Can customers effectively use the product the following time when they use it again after a period of inactivity? Or must the user start from scratch and learn everything?

Errors: How frequently do users make faults, how serious are these errors, and how quickly can they fix them?

How much does the user like using the system in terms of satisfaction?

Depending on your target audience, different priorities will be given to each of the elements, as mentioned earlier. One program with a relatively steep learning curve is Adobe Photoshop CS6. Learning takes time, but the opportunities are unlimited once you’ve overcome the learning curve.

In this situation, learnability is low, while satisfaction is high. Does this indicate that the design team has to start again and make the product more straightforward to use? Wait a minute. Whether the team needs to make the product more straightforward to use depends more on the product’s target market than on the study’s actual evaluations.

Types of a usability test?

Types of a usability test?
image source: Ux collective

Following comparing and contrasting the many usability testing tools, let’s look at some specific techniques. They are regulated versus unregulated. A person (the moderator) facilitates or guides the participant through the test either in person or remotely during moderated usability testing. Throughout moderated usability tests, the organization can respond to participant questions during the exam or ask them more questions as needed. A logger who records the user’s activities, intentions, and mistakes may also be used in moderated usability testing.

Unmoderated usability

assessments let participants finish activities independently without supervision or assistance. Unmoderated usability testing works well with small groups and a large, varied participant pool. Since they can be conducted whenever and wherever, unmoderated usability tests are less expensive and quicker to complete than moderated tests; however, when errors occur or when a task or participant’s answer needs to be clarified, this sort of usability testing may face difficulties.

On-site versus remote.

These kinds of usability testing should be distinct from moderated and unmoderated testing, which can take place remotely or in person. In-person usability testing takes place with the participant present, as the name implies, instead of having them complete activities in a chosen location.

Whether moderated or not, in-person usability tests have several advantages for UX researchers. The organization might offer a device to prevent potential technological problems and guarantee a great experience on the participant’s chosen/provided device. Recruiting people who might need access to a device satisfying the system requirements is also made more straightforward. Additionally, face-to-face usability assessments give the company control over the testing environment and the chance to evaluate prototypes that might need to be fixed on participants’ devices.

By allowing participants to evaluate a product from a convenient location, remote usability testing lowers the cost component for the business. Additionally, using a familiar device enable the participant to experience the product as they would in the real world, providing invaluable information for a UX researcher. When performed by a novice researcher, remote usability testing can encounter technological problems, network problems, and communication breakdowns.

Video or screen captures. Using this method, you can examine how quickly and where participants clicked or navigated on the net. You might even mirror the participant’s screen onto a different device or monitor for a live evaluation. Record the participant’s audio or video responses to the questions so you may review them later. You could see something on replay that you didn’t notice the first time, like a non-verbal cue. The recording of screens and videos is made possible by a range of software solutions.

Usability testing.

This term describes usability tests carried out in a controlled lab setting that allows the company to collect all the necessary input. The organization meticulously maintains all equipment and variables to maintain a stable environment. Several recording devices, a one-way mirror, and a way to communicate with the participant are frequently included in usability labs. However, usability laboratories generally incorporate lighting and temperature settings, cozy couches, or other amenities to keep participants at ease.

Testing on the run.

Guerrilla testing, also known as hallway or corridor testing, can provide valuable usability insights and is a rapid, low-cost alternative to more extensive testing. Guerrilla testing takes place in public places like coffee shops and shopping malls rather than painstakingly building a pool of volunteers. Guerilla testing involves UX researchers approaching random or barely screened people for brief product evaluations, frequently lasting less than a half-hour. In contrast to a lab setting, guerilla testing is simple and usually only calls for a testing device, a test facilitator, a note-taker, and screen recording software.

Partners for usability testing.

Partners can perform functional or usability testing on the organization’s behalf. Although this kind of usability testing incurs additional costs, a partner often provides skills the company still needs to have on staff. The test usability or UX testing partner also frequently has access to a large pool of potential volunteers, whom it can cultivate based on the client’s requirements. For a future product launch, the client can ask for 20-29-year-olds in APAC using Apple mobile devices, for instance. A UX testing partner, like Applause, must satisfy this demand and offer skilled researchers to get essential insights from participants.

How to do it?

The steps to do the usability testing are given below:

Step 1: Make a study plan.

First, be clear so that you can correctly plan your usability study. The item under test: Are you integrating a kiosk interface prototype, a website filtering system, or a mobile app? The method: Determine whether the OS matters and whether it might skew the results while testing a mobile app. In that case, let the participants pick the OS. The study aims to determine whether users know password-free login and registration. Suppose it is simple for them to use the product detail page. Transform your broad goals into specific usability testing methods. Focus on a small number of tasks, pages, places, and hypotheses to test at once.

Create a plausible scenario. You want to know what actual customers think about the product. Aid them in participating in the test. Prepare the special activities and questions for your test usability participants. The scenarios and assignments should seem as natural to them as feasible. Add essential questions and brief interviews. It improves communication between the test participant and you, the moderator. Additionally, it offers a chance to verify user personas. You can revisit the personas and improve their accuracy once you have enough information about actual users (your participants).

Step 2: User test subjects

Recruitment for usability testing might take a lot of work. It may give you the impression that a TV commercial is attempting to “sell” usability testing to as many people as possible.

Step 3: Conduct usability tests

Remember to test the usability! Try it out or conduct a pilot. The target audience is not required for the pilot participant. Run a session with a coworker or enlist the assistance of your pals. Test out every aspect of your plan. The prototype will have some bugs, the task instructions may need clarification, or your 30-minute usability test will take an hour.

Step 4: Review & Report

A testing session that goes well doesn’t mean the job is done. The following section is equally important. To effectively communicate your findings to your team or client, you must organize and prioritize the input. Since you often don’t have time to view everything twice, analysis and reporting usually go hand in hand.


Thanks to usability testing, the design and development teams can find issues before they are coded. The sooner problems are found and corrected; the less expensive they will be in terms of staff time and potential schedule disruption. Thanks to test usability, the design and development teams can find issues before they are coded. The sooner problems are found and corrected; the less expensive they will be in terms of staff time and potential schedule disruption.