An Outline of Usability Testing Methods

web usability tests
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If you are going to start an online business, the first thing that you need to consider is the building of an effective website. Building a website is not an easy task because your site has to be very attractive to the visitors to ensure web presence. The main goal of an online business is to increase sales. Therefore, in order to improve the web presence and increase sales, you should build not only a beautiful website but also an effective website that is easily navigable. Here comes the usability testing that helps to test the performance, functionality, and design of your website. The web usability tests involve the real users who participate in the test to perform certain tasks on the website. Depending on their response and experience of the test, the observers or researchers assess the ease of using the website. This test also helps to find out the usability issues and identify the opportunities to make the website more user-friendly.

The Categories of Usability Testing:

Usability testing can be classified into three main categories such as-

i) Explorative:

This testing evaluates the usability and effectiveness of the preliminary design of a product. During the early product development period, this testing helps to evaluate the conceptual understanding and thought processes of the users.


ii) Comparative:

This test helps to compare two websites or two designs. Therefore, this usability testing is effective to understand the strengths and weaknesses of your website.

iii) Assessment:

During the midway of product development, this testing assists to evaluate the effectiveness, satisfaction, and overall usability of a website through real-time trials of the technology.

Usability Testing Methods:

Among numerous usability testing methods, this article explains some important methods of usability testing.

  1. A) Hallway Testing: 

In this method, instead of choosing experienced or trained people, random people are chosen to test the website. This testing method is effective to test a new website for the first time after the development.

  1. B) Remote Usability Testing: 

This testing involves the people of several countries. Through video conferences or automatically recording systems, the users can participate in this testing method. The users will be given some tasks and the recording system will record everything including the computer screen, the activity of the users, time taken to perform a task, etc. Using the recording system, the organization can evaluate the experience and response of the users.

  1. C) Expert Review: 

In order to evaluate the performance and usability of a website, an organization can seek an expert review. In this testing, an expert will conduct the tests remotely and provide feedback.

  1. D) Paper Prototype Testing: 

An organization conducts this usability testing before starting coding. This testing method involves a rough drawing of the interface that the users use as a prototype to perform a task. As the users perform the tasks using the prototype, this testing method is very cheap.

  1. E) Questionnaires and Interviews:

In this testing method, the interviewers try to understand the needs of the users by asking them some direct questions. This testing helps to collect different types of data that can help to find a way to improve the users’ satisfaction.


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