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Usability Testing


Usability testing
These days when there are countless apps in the app store for the people to chose from, a poor rating from the user, can spell the end for a product even before it's downloaded by a few hundred users. All the resources, expertise and long hours of planning dedicated towards building the product can go to nought with a single negative review. Usability testing thus assumes a significant importance.

What all is there in Usability Testing?

As the name suggests, usability testing determines how user friendly the interface of an app or a product is. Other factors which can influence the user experience include ease of navigation, the flow and content. The effect of these parameters is highlighted in comparison with other similar products or apps.

What are the different approaches in Usability Testing?

Hallway Testing:

It involves asking random people about the quality of any particular feature of the product under test. Main motive behind this is to identify the most basic of brick wall scenarios for bugs, the presence of which can make the most basic of features ineffective and sluggish to work with.

Synchronous Remote Usability Testing:

This approach was put forward after extensive research on the problems related to conducting usability testing across far away locations. It involves the use of remote web sharing tools like WebEx through video conferencing. However this approach lacks the utility of a real presence to make this collaborative testing procedure a success.

Asynchronous remote Usability Testing:

This most prevalent approach makes use of the information from user logs, feedback for user interface and testing is carried out in the user environment itself. This method also helps to easily segment the user feedback into different demographic and behavioural types.

Expert Review:

This is a very general method involving the services of a team of experts having a wealth of experience in the field of conducting usability tests. The experts conduct an audit of all the parameters having a bearing on the usability of a software product. Some of the essential parameters include:

  • Status visibility of the system.
  • Aesthetic of a moderate system design.
  • Flexibility and efficiency of use.
  • User control and freedom.

Automated Expert Review:

It's just a program based review of all the usability parameters. But downside to it is the lack of insightful reviewing when performed by humans. Also, it is a slower process of testing.

A/B testing:

A/B Testing involves creating a mirror image of the product without a crucial facet from the original and which can have a direct bearing on the user behaviour. This is followed by a comparative analysis. Some of the other elements which undergo this form of usability testing are text, colour or contrast of the interface.

In most cases, usability testing unravels many bugs closely associated with the results of performance testing procedures. With the conclusion of usability testing, the final software product becomes easier to operate for the users and is readily endorsed by them.