The Basics of Usability Testing
In this section, we will discuss the what, when and who of usability testing. what to test, when to conduct user testing, a variety of different types, and who to draw on as testers.
Exercise: Become the Tester
Usability testing is readily understood by navigating a website as if you were the tester. Perform the exercise below, and answer the questions to get a sense of a simple usability test.
Were you able to find the correct page?
Did it take longer than necessary?
Would you return to this website?
What are your first impressions?
Through this testing you can surface navigation complexity, user enjoyment of browsing the site and other issues. These findings are the foundation of the website's future version (iteration), which will be retested in a process of evaluating and responding to results called the iterative design process.
The iterative design process, at it's core, consists of:
- Running usability tests;
- Carefully analyzing the results;
- Making necessary changes;
- Repeating the process throughout the design or redesign process.