While developing a product or service that will be used by hundreds of thousands of people, there should be commitment to quality above all. This is why testing holds the same importance and value as development. There has always been a trend where companies consistently invest money and resources in improving various aspects of their products or services.
There are many ways to test a product’s different aspects. Among all those practices, usability testing is something that cannot be ignored under any circumstances. For efficient usability testing, a tester can employ several methods. In this blog, we will be exploring 8 usability testing methods that ensure a high quality product fully ready for its intended users.
Basic Usability Testing
Usability testing is a process where the tester basically watches and tracks how an actual user interacts with the app or a website. So the tester has to be aware of everything the actual user would want to do with the app and what they expect from apps of such nature.
Moderated Usability Testing
This is somewhat a more advanced usability testing tactic employed by experienced testers who rely on live feedback from customers. The tester moderates a live session with volunteers and facilitates them through various predefined tasks. Live communication with customers is the highlight of this approach. The participants of the session aren’t provided with too much information on the app. Testers normally would want to get feedback from customers who know nothing about the app they are requested to use.
Unmoderated Usability Testing
This is basically the opposite of moderated testing. This tactic is carried out remotely and doesn’t require human moderators or testers. This is also a very common and inexpensive approach where robust feedback and results are obtained in a short span of time. However, this approach requires various tools for maximum efficiency and output.
A/B testing is another commonly employed effective testing method; particularly useful when the developers can’t choose between two conflicting features or elements of the product. For A/B testing, the developers give access to the two features to equal number of users randomly. The feedback is then gathered and the feature that got the majority positive votes is taken. So essentially, the users choose the best feature out of the two conflicting ones.
Beta testing is most likely the most popular usability testing approach. For beta testing, developers launch an ‘almost finished’ product while in the final stages of development. The app is given to a few selected users to use and gather critical feedback that would help the developers make some final tweaks and refinements before official release. Developers also hand out feedback questionnaire with a number of questions that users can answer and submit to the development company.
This is a more theoretical approach where the development team creates a fictional representation of the ideal consumer. The tactic focuses on the goals of the users based on their characteristics and how they process information. This also helps the developers understand the expectations of end users regarding their product. Though this approach may appear strange, it can be a great usability testing method due to its great results.
Usability testing is never complete without surveys. Developers gather all the required information to improve their product via questionnaires that are handed over to potential consumers for feedback. Large scale surveys are often conducted to gather lots of information that are then analyzed to define tasks and objectives that can improve the product. Various types of users are also targeted for surveys.
Out of all the methods mentioned in this blog, a field study is probably the most physically demanding. Not that the developers would be sweating a lot. This is a method focused on research where the developers are required to be physically present at strategically determined areas to interact directly with consumers of their product. The consumers’ opinions are noted down and questions are asked. The idea is to understand consumer demands and expectations on a deeper level with the developers directly asking consumers for clarifications when necessary.
The methods mentioned in this blog can be very essential to totally succeed with usability testing. Each method serves a purpose where the development team gets a deeper understanding of what their product or service means to the targeted consumers. Efficient usability testing also raises the success rate of the product post launch.
Normally developers choose feasible testing methods depending on the project’s scale and nature. Doing this certainly requires a good amount of expertise and knowledge. At AOT, we are committed to delivering high quality products and services. And usability testing is something that we don’t ever neglect. Want to learn more about our application development methods? Drop us a message.