Never heard of usability testing? Or, you have heard of it but think it is something only ‘techies’ do and should know about? Or even better, you would like to commission one but not sure how to go about it?
Then this slides-and-captions guide to usability testing may be just the right starting point for you. It is based on the key ideas and slides I presented in the workshop Usability testing for beginners at We Are Museums 2016.
In usability testing, we are not testing the users, we are testing the usability of a product
Best digital products solve real-life problems, so we need to figure out what needs and wants our users have in the first place
But we are all guilty of assumptions about other people
Firstly, make sure you understand your users/audiences
Usability testing is just one of many research and evaluation methods
Here is one of definitions of usability testing
But, what do we mean by usability?
Testing with real users
Testing the usability of user interfaces
This also includes usability of physical-digital interface-spaces-environments
You may find this short to-do list helpful when planning for usability testing
No 1 Define target users
No 2 Prepare a research brief
No 3 Plan the sessions and user tasks
No 4 Get the prototype/product ready for testing
No 5 Conduct testing sessions
No 6 Analyse your findings
No 7 Most importantly, don’t forget to prioritise your findings and act upon them to make your product more usable
Now do it all over again!
Users often say what they don’t actually mean and their behaviour contradicts what they articulate through words! Watch them intently!
And, a final word of advice: Don’t make it perfect, just go for it!
These slides, plus some additional ones, are
also available in a PDF format on Slideshare.