Design

Usability Testing: Ensure the Success of Your Business Online

User experience and user interface are the cornerstones of the expected business growth. About 75% of a website's credibility stems from its design. Even the tiny error in functionality or design of your digital product may lead to substantial loss of clients and profit. That's why application and website owners may face a necessity to conduct usability testing. 

Jakob Nielsen, a web usability consultant and human-computer interaction researcher, states: "The web is the ultimate customer empowering environment. He or she who clicks the mouse gets to decide everything. It is so easy to go elsewhere; all the competitors in the world are but a mouse-click away."

For that reason, both web and app design solutions are focused on hooking more users. Companies deploy studies to check their design and figure out approaches and techniques that generate more conversions.

This article sheds light on usability testing benefits, services and methods and gives you a detailed plan on how to conduct usability testing. Ready to start?

What is Usability Testing and How It helps to discover UX issues?

Usability testing is a way to check out and assess the functionality of the product interface. It is one of the many user experience research methods that serve as UX research's core. Since the majority of businesses are present online, mobile e-commerce is growing. In 2021, the percentage of mobile retail sales is expected to reach 72.9%. Therefore, it’s significant to ensure that the app and website function perfectly and that users can easily find whatever they need. 

When you conduct usability testing, you've got an opportunity to determine whether users can reach their prime goal by navigating and finding important information on the website or the app. User interaction with a digital product lies at the heart of usability assessment. That means the users should find whatever they need without frustration or extra help and in a relatively short time. 

There are no strictly established measures for product usability testing. However, we're going to single out several points and suggestions on customizing and fine-tuning it to align with your needs. So, what is the purpose of usability testing?

Product Simplicity

Users have to complete actions on the page or in the app hassle-free when they interact with an interface for the first time. Therefore, you have to pay attention to attributions and steps regarding how intuitive and understandable they are. 

Efficiency

When conducting UX usability testing, track the time. It shows how long it might take users to accomplish all steps to make a conversion. Once you get the result, you can make the interface crystal clear for everyone. 

Catchiness & Intuitiveness

These are the other crucial factors of perfect UX design. Check up these points to improve navigation inside your digital product. It's essential to pay attention to the user activity after some time of no use of the app. Track the number of faulty steps and their impact on further actions. User designers should fix and minimize all of them to increase performance.

Functionality & Pain Points

This point is a cornerstone of the sought-after UX design. When checking this aspect of user experience usability testing, figure out the level of satisfaction with the interface. It will let your product design team detect how users are satisfied with your product. 

Let’s dig deeper and find out why and when to do usability research.

Reasons to Conduct Usability Testing

The best time for usability research is during the interface design. This research brings you some knowledge about functionality and practical design: what works well and what operates with errors. It allows you to make data-driven decisions and count on facts instead of hypotheses. As a result, users are more likely to enjoy your digital product once it is released. 

Later on, you can also test usability right after rolling out the product. You'll have an opportunity to collect feedback to make some changes and fix bugs. You will keep your audience and attract new users with improved solutions. 

Additionally, it's advisable to check the interface usability before redesigning, especially when evaluating and iterating. This tactic enables you to reduce risk and get more certainty about changing the website and app features. 

That’s why usability testing tackles the following problems and allows to:

  • Reveal the functionality and design problems;

  • Show points to improve;

  • Uncover user preference and interaction with the digital product. 

We’re moving closer to the stages of usability testing, but before we explore them, let’s look at quantitative and qualitative usability testing.

Quantitative and Qualitative Research: Which one to choose?

There are two product usability testing methods: quantitative and qualitative.

Qualitative data provides a direct assessment of the usability of a system. You can see hurdles users face with specific UI/ UX elements.  

Quantitative data gives an indirect assessment of design usability. In addition, it offers information about users' performance like success rate, task completion time, or satisfaction rating. 

The table below highlights their peculiar features, goals, and methods. 

Once you’ve decided on the method, you need to come up with the type of usability testing. What are they?

3 Usability Testing Types

The type of user testing may depend on your target audience, resources, and issues you want to find out. Accordingly, there are three types of usability testing. Let's get to know more about each of them.

Moderated and unmoderated testing

Moderated testing looks to provide in-depth findings and explore the reason for user behavior. Trained researchers hold moderated testing sessions remotely or in person. They introduce testers with questions and may ask follow-up questions.

As for unmoderated testing sessions, there's no direct supervision. Participants might test usability from their homes using their own devices; otherwise, they are invited to check website and app functionality at a specific place. This type of usability testing focuses on the investigation of particular questions and behavior patterns.

Remote and in-person testing

The names of this type of testing speak for themselves. But what are their benefits? Companies often conduct remote usability tests via messengers, phones, or any other means of communication. Remote testing is a good option when you don't have to dig the problem deep. Additionally, it allows covering different geographical locations with minimal expenses. 

However, in-person usability testing is more effective since you can collect the required information and observe the tester's behavior, body language, and emotions. This type of testing requires a moderator or UX researcher. It's also time-consuming and even more expensive than remote testing because you have to provide testers with space and important testing instruments.

Explorative, assessment, comparative testing

These types of usability research provide different findings: 

  • Explorative is open-ended and helps researchers detect gaps in the Ui/ UX design and generate new ideas.

  • Assessment allows checking the digital product's functionality and user's satisfaction with a product.

  • Comparative testing offers two or more options, so testers can choose what kind of interaction they like the most. As for researchers, for instance, they can see either old or new versions of the site functions better.

Usability Testing Tools

The market bounds in usability testing services, and it’s really simple to get lost. Check out our list of the most effective tools you may need for product usability testing:

  • Maze is a testing platform that works with mobile, desktop, and tablet prototypes. It offers open-ended surveys, click tests, etc. 

  • Userinsights is a WordPress plugin that allows checking users' interaction with your site. They can leave their feedback just while dealing with your website. 

  • Playbook UX is software that helps find and recruit the right people for your research. You can also schedule your meetings, transcribe data, and analyze findings. 

  • Konceptapp allows creating prototypes and collecting UX insights to refine an application before coding. 

  • Userbrain runs user testing and provides insight on product improvement. 

Now, we can explore user testing best practices. 

6 Steps to Conduct Usability Testing

Go through 6 primary stages of usability testing best practices. 

1. Create a Prototype

Start with prototyping your product to get aware of the final version. Prototypes usually have limited functionality and let you test out the design concept. 

You may use sketches, mock-ups, wireframes, or any other suitable form of your web or app product for this step. For instance, you can create several alternatives for the same prototype and decide on the one you find the most suitable for your business needs. In the process, you can discover solutions to the pain points and possible pitfalls on their user's way. 

Try out the proven web and mobile tools like Figma, Adobe, Sketch, InVision Studio.

2. Lay Out a testing Plan

Come up with points you want to check. It would be best to have a clear, step-by-step description of actions; otherwise, you may squander away both budget and time. 

It's significant to single out functionalities, features, and tasks you seek to improve. Also, it would help if you thought of measurement criteria: outline points to track the success or failure of specific areas. 

Let's say you're running app UX testing. Your client is a food delivery service. Your product includes three main features: menu, order form, and payment process. You imagine a focus group in your mind and try to take various steps to assess the features. Jot down the ideas and questions and possible criteria for further evaluation.

3. Find Potential Users Who Can Test Your Digital Product

If you conduct usability testing of the released project, contact the sales department to find people to help you with the usability testing process. If it's a new product on the digital market, you can involve some stakeholders to hire demo users via social media. The main point is to get unbiased feedback. 

It would be perfect for preparing several different tests that can provide you with deep feedback. They can be in person or remote - up to your goals. 

4. Decide on a Testing Environment

Well, testing in person is more effective. Why? Because you can observe a person: tension, emotions, gestures, body language, sighs, and the like. For you, this is an opportunity to read all those signals and translate them into points for improvement. Then, when being next to a demo user or tester, you can ask questions and give a helping hand. 

In addition, people during offline testing are more involved in the process, so they're likely to give you detailed feedback. On the other hand, if you run testing sessions online via messengers, some aspects may slip away. Also, some factors may distract your focus group - pet, family members, poor Internet connection, etc. 

Therefore, it's important to find a compatible place - your office or any other quiet location. Make your users feel relaxed and focused. 

5. Conducting Usability Test

The importance of this step is unquestionable. The quality of the test depends on effective moderation of the process and communication. Now, it's time to set deadlines and come to the steps of the prepared plan. Introduce the context or a situation to your testers and set where and how to use an app. 

You can record the process to use it later. Yet, don't forget users inform about it. It would help if you also got to know about their experience by asking open questions. It will help you get more workable insight. 

6. Usability Analysis

The final stage is usability analysis and documentation. In a short report, you have to summarize findings from the interview with demo users or beta testers, videos, and other available materials. It will allow you to analyze the results quickly, as you'll be able to see weak points at once. With this information, you can come to the proper conclusion and build a roadmap to enhance your digital product’s performance. 

And one more piece of advice - keep a report, test results, and other materials. Then, you can represent them to stakeholders when you need to come up with a design decision. 

Arounda’s Implementation of Usability Testing

Our team may implement a usability testing approach at all stages of product development. It's a proven method to minimize the number of errors in the digital product. 

We build all the processes in our company on Donald A. Norman’s principles and visions. He’s a director of The Design Lab at the University of California, San Diego, who once said:  

“The argument is not between adding features and simplicity, between adding capability and usability. The real issue is about design: designing things that have the power required for the job while maintaining understandability, the feeling of control, and the pleasure of accomplishment.”

With this thought in mind, we try to do our best and create a unique user experience. So we usually kick off every usability testing with a UX audit of a ready-to-use interface, keeping an eye on details:  

  • checking user experience

  • assessing content

  • scrutinizing technical bugs and errors. 

After that, we document the results where our specialists highlight existing issues with their explanations and give some recommendations on making UX design better to reach a specific business goal. 

Our Case Study

Let's say, Teachinguide, a SaaS Education startup with a data insights platform to help Udemy Instructors to grow their profitable course business, requested to improve their application. Our task was to redesign the interface and improve the user experience.

Redesign for Teachinguide - a SaaS Education startup, created by Arounda.

Before running a UX audit, we already had some information about metrics, KPIs, and conversions. Therefore, that data served as a starting point. Our solution was to create a customer journey map and track customers' interaction with an app. It was vital for us to pay attention to emotions, define pain points while using an app, and then get feedback. We conducted usability testing for every page and analyzed its functionality. 

Obtained data allowed us to create a new, improved design of the language school app, add some new functions, and change navigation. As a result, our client could receive more positive feedback and an enhanced user experience that undoubtedly impacted conversions. 

Time to Check Your Usability

Usability testing is the right way to succeed. With available tools and approaches, you can create an interface that will meet your users' expectations and help your business grow. You can use working methods and choose your own criteria to test and design UI/ UX. 

However, if you want to delegate product user testing to an experienced team, your experts are ready to discuss your issue. 

We at Arounda Digital Product Design Agency offer a vast array of services:

  • Product Strategy

  • Business Analysis & Research

  • UX Audit

  • UX/UI Design

  • Web Design

  • Brand Identity 

Drop a line, and we'll get back soon to discuss all the details and offer reasonable user testing practices.

Vladislav Gavriluk
WRITTEN BY
Vladislav Gavriluk
CEO & Founder at Arounda
I make sure our clients get the high-quality result from the beginning stage of the idea discovery & strategy to the final digital product.
Vladislav Gavriluk
WRITTEN BY
Vladislav Gavriluk
CEO & Founder at Arounda
I make sure our clients get the high-quality result from the beginning stage of the idea discovery & strategy to the final digital product.
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