Companies that want their audiences to use their content and engage with it strive to take advantage of different UX design and tools, such as peer analysis, competitor analysis, content analysis, Information Architecture (IA), user journeys, and personal development among others.
A professional UI/UX design agency will be able to provide you with pre- and post-development evaluations and reviews of your product or service concerning usability, objectives, accessibility, and user experience, among other things. As a result, you are going to get valuable usability tips that will help you improve your digital product.
Why Is Usability Important?
First things first, before meddling with usability testing, we should define what it means and why it’s considered one of the main parts of proper user experience. While there are many variations of definitions to the word, let’s say that usability is a quality feature that evaluates user interfaces’ use simplicity. Five elements have to do with usability level, including learnability, satisfaction, efficiency, memorability, and errors.
Learnability shows how easy the end-user can accomplish a task while using the product or service for the first time, while satisfaction is about the smoothness of the use process. Efficiency is determined by the speed of task accomplishment. In contrast, memorability depends upon the time required for users to get used to the product or service and feel comfortable using it. Lastly, design specialists track the number of errors made by users and how quickly they learn from them.
Consideration of all these factors ensures the development of a product or service with a high usability level, i.e., the one that users will be able to use quickly and efficiently. The question is, why are UX designers give so much attention to a single part of user experience? Moreover, many people think that it’s much more useful to focus on solutions provided by their products or services. In a sense, they are correct, because features truly do make digital products valuable to audiences.
But, if your end-user is confused about using an app or site, there’s not much use in it. Professional UI/UX designers will focus not just on the good looks of your project, but rather a clean and understandable functionality system. It is key to the success of any digital project these days.
Usability Testing in a Nutshell
Usability testing is a process that helps evaluate a digital product via its testing on potential users. By performing this testing, UX designers can define whether a product or service is adequately usable and highlight potential user experience problems. It is usually performed at the stage of UX design before a project transfers to the development stage and allows altering weak solutions much more comfortable and quicker compared to doing it in a finished product.
Furthermore, usability testing helps to grasp a better idea of the audience’s preferences and needs by monitoring their reactions during their product use. Thus, UX designers can gather the critical data required to create an efficient design focused on users. You can use this data in other development stages, not only user experience design.
How Is Usability Testing Performed
There are quite a few ways you can perform usability testing. We are not going to explore all of them but will focus on the most common ones. Check them below.
Paper Prototype Testing
Wireframing is one of the crucial product creation stages. It is a schematic visual depiction of your project’s layout, including pages and screens of its interface. Usually, UX agencies provide clients with black and white images that sometimes have bright spots or marks on them, which outline particular points or areas that offer a clear view of the project’s structure and how its parts connect.
These wireframes – paper prototypes – can be shown to users, who can take their time and perform particular tasks as if it was a real product or service. It takes imagination, of course, but it also shows if people understand what’s going on in the product and what they should do to get a particular result. While this method may seem too simple, it’s nevertheless an efficient and effective way of revealing usability issues at the early stages of development.
Expert Reviews and Usability Evaluations
Expert reviews are mostly a quick and affordable way of improving your digital product and your users’ experience. A UX agency team will appraise such factors as use simplicity, learnability, terminology, navigation, and persuasiveness to detect any issues and figure out how to solve them. The agency can do it with the help of specialized tools and can also test the product or service, like regular users.
Hallway Usability Testing
This testing method foresees a product’s or service’s testing on random users, i.e., designers can ask a person on the street, hallway, café, etc. to try it out. This method could seem somewhat complicated since it requires finding those who would like to participate in an experiment like this and then provide you with helpful feedback. Usually, UX agencies execute this method when they complete the most significant part of a project.
You will have to talk to your UI/UX design agency and discuss testing methods you’d like them to apply to your project. They vary in price between each other and from firm to firm. So, make an informed decision based on your budget, goals, and expert opinion from your UI/UX designers.
Usability Testing Is a Must
Considering all the things described in this article, we can say for sure that usability testing is an absolute must because you want your digital product to provide the best possible experience for your audience.
You have to make sure it’s understandable, intuitive, and provides users with the solutions they require. While your brand is essential to your business image and recognition, your digital product should focus on users. It is the only way to gain new customers and retain existing ones.