Thursday, 18 September 2014

Usability Testing Methods

When it comes to software testing, usability testing is perhaps one of the most important areas. It will determine how well your end users relate to the finished product. Our company can provide efficient and economical usability testing for your software. Contact us today to get started.

Oniyosys provides comprehensive Usability Testing solutions for any business. Simply provide us a copy of the software to be tested, and we will get to work immediately. Our testers utilize some of the most cutting edge technology to document their test experience. The testers use our program that records their actual use session, and then they record their thoughts and reactions when they are done. This not only allows you to read about how they felt about the experience, but it also allows you to watch the actual process your real end users will go through when they use the final product. We then analyze these vital pieces of information and give recommendations based on our findings.

In a usability test you watch as a user who is unfamiliar with your website attempts to perform a task or set of tasks on your website. The goal is to uncover usability problems that typical users might experience.

Web Usability Testing is an iterative process. It involves feeding back key improvements to the web development team regarding user requirements. Lots of business decision makers have their own opinion about how they want their company website to look, feel and work. Based on these business requirements it is then the appointed web design company or department’s job to realize these requirements. What is sometimes missed out is what the users require. The aim of this article is to explain the importance of involving the user, iteratively, throughout the website design process and, indeed, throughout the whole lifecycle of the website even after it has gone live!

In the ‘benchmarking’ Usability Testing we have done for some of our clients, we have measured these on a per-task basis. Here are the ways we have found to statistically measure these parameters during a usability testing session:
  • Effectiveness – This is usually the simplest one to measure during usability testing. For most tasks, you will be able to use a pass/fail measure of whether the user has managed to complete the task successfully. The percentage of users that manage to complete a task successfully therefore becomes a measure of the design’s effectiveness.
  • Efficiency – A useful way to measure this characteristic can be timing the user on a task during the usability testing. The average task completion time of all the users participating in your usability testing therefore becomes a measure of efficiency.
  • Satisfaction – The easiest way of measuring users’ satisfaction is normally in the form of a questionnaire. This questionnaire is typically administered after the usability testing session has ended and asks the user to rank their experience of the site (along a number of parameters) from 1 – 5 (1=poor, 5= good). The questions can relate to the entire site experience, or ask specific questions about each task.
Usability testing can, however, be used in a different way. The ‘benchmarking’ method of usability testing allows you to get a statistical measure of a site’s usability during a usability testing session. This is a very powerful idea, because it allows us to use Usability Testing sessions to statistically compare the usability of different designs and/or sites.

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