Designing a digital solution that fits customer requirements, meets business objectives and at the same time solvents user needs can be complicated. But in SlashMobility’s ConceptStudio we seek the perfect balance between customer-user, creating experiences under the principles of Design Thinking and user-centred design (UCD).
A good way to align the stars and thus design a product that meets all requirements, is performing a usability test to obtain feedback from real users about our proposal.
But is it really worth it? Definitely yes. Let us show you why.
What is a usability test?
A usability test consists of observing and analyzing a group of real users (potential users) how they experiment with the product, and see what works well and what needs to be adjusted. Listen to their needs and frustrations, and take them into account to improve their experience and make the product a success.
When do we do it?
First, it is a priority to go through the strategic definition phase, which is to carry out co-creation sessions with the client, stakeholders and our experts in Design Thinking. From these sessions we obtain the necessary insights to make a proposal of navigation flow, to design the wireframe at low fidelity, and to make a prototype. STOP! It is vital that in this initial phase the first test with users is performed.
Early-stage usability tests help identify any deficiencies in design, flow, and interaction. Also listen to users, know which features are most valuable to them and which ones less.
Thus we can iterate in the wireframe taking into account the improvements that have been obtained in the test. Once everything is settled and validated, we will obtain a product that meets 100% with the needs of the users and at the same time are aligned with those of the client. You only have to go to the implementation phase, doing the layout, assets and specs, and the product can already enter the development phase.
Without the usability test, mistakes would be overlooked, thus being costly retouching later in the development phase or in evolutionary after product launch.
Forrester calculates that for every $ 1 to solve a problem in the design phase, it would cost $ 5 to solve the same problem during development and it would cost $ 30 to solve the same problem after product launch.
How is it structured?
Define the objectives and interests to be evaluated in the test. It is necessary to determine the critical functionalities, define the scenarios and the challenges that the testers will face. In this phase, the method used to perform the usability test, the number of testers, the demographic profile (age, gender, etc.) and the format of the report are also decided.
During this phase, the number of participants defined in the previous phase is recruited.
In this phase, the usability test is executed.
Analysis of data
During this phase the data are analyzed in detail to make a final report. This report should include the problems that have been encountered and some useful recommendations to solve them.
The usability report is shared with the client, the stakeholders and the team involved in the project to decide what actions will be carried out.
Where is it done?
There are three methods available for usability testing:
1.Moderate in person
2.Moderate on remote
3.Without moderator and in remote
Moderate in person
This test is carried out in a laboratory room to a group of testers. The moderator assigns the challenges to be performed while the observer is monitored and takes notes of the behavior of the testers during the test. If the group is too large, software is also used, which records the voice, screen activity and facial expressions of the tester, so as not to lose information.
Moderate on remote
The testers access the prototype remotely and the moderator assigns the tasks in streaming. Using software, the tester’s voice, screen activity and facial expressions are recorded so observers can analyze these data at the end of the test.
Without moderator and on remote
The testers receive an email with a link where they access the prototype, along with a document explaining the session and the tasks assigned to perform the test. It also uses software, which records the voice, screen activity and facial expressions of the tester. When performing the test the data is sent to the observer so that it can generate the results.
We see in the following article: “10 tips to perform a usability test”
Do not miss it!
Our SlashGirl Helena Hernández, UI / UX / CX Manager, is the author of this post.