Don’t Guess, Test.
To understand what our Usability Testing services are all about, let’s start by letting you know what they are not. They are not about spending weeks recruiting users and observing them in a one-way mirrored room while we burn through your entire budget. Our Usability Tests typically involve 3-5 users for about 20 minutes each. Sometimes we bring them into our office. Sometimes we conduct web conferences and point them to a test site. Since the primary goal is to learn how real people use something before it is developed, it doesn’t take much effort to gain a whole lot of valuable knowledge. To us, a great-looking screen that is difficult to use is a bad design — and the best way to make a great design is to test it.
The first thing we need to do before we start testing is set the expectations for what knowledge we expect to gain and what method of testing should be used.
- What are we looking to accomplish?
- Are there specific areas we suspect are causing issues?
- What questions should we be asking?
- What user scenarios should we be testing?
- What are the user personas?
- What type of screen designs are needed for the tests?
- Visual Design Mockups
- HTML/CSS prototype?
Then, since we know it is far more important to rely on what users do rather than what they say, we typically show users a screen design and ask them to:
- Describe everything that they see
- Perform some set of key tasks
- Interact with functionality
- Interpret label names
Finally, we compile the results, look for commonalities and patterns, and present our findings and make our recommendations.