What Makes Usability Testing An Important Part Of Web Design
Usability testing is a term that people often get to hear when talking about UX and UI, however not many are aware of what it actually entails
Usability testing is a term that people often get to hear when talking about UX and UI, however not many are aware of what it actually entails and how important it is in the sphere of website or application designing. In the words of a layman, usability testing can be referred to as the method of evaluating the readiness of a website or application for release, by testing it with real users who are a part of the target audience. Usability tests can typically evaluate the overall UX or user experience by evaluating the ease with which the ultimate users are able to accomplish a set of tasks that a targeted user of a digital product would need to accomplish.
Jakob Nielsen from the renowned Nielsen Norman Group mentions that usability is a quality attribute that assesses how easy a UI or User Interface is to use.
The term “usability” can also denote the methods of improving the ease-of-using during the designing process of a digital product.
As per usability experts, the major components of usability include:
- Learnability: How easily can the users accomplish various basic tasks the very first time they encounter the design?
- Efficiency: How fast are experienced users able to complete those tasks?
- Memorability: As users return to design subsequent to a period of not using it, do they remember enough information to use it efficiently the next time or do they have to start learning the process all over again?
- Errors: How many errors are made by the users, the severity extent of those errors, and how easily can the users recover from those errors?
- Satisfaction: How much do the users like using the relevant system?
By measuring these components, one can learn how easy their website is to master and identify any problems involved in its usage. This data can aid people to evolve their app or website into a more user-friendly product, which ultimately tends to affect the bottom line of the business.Why is usability testing important?
The prime goal of usability testing is to adequately identify any kind of usability problems, collect quantitative data on the performance of the participants, and also determine the satisfaction level of the user with the website or application.
In the practical sense, in case a website or application is difficult to navigate or does not articulate a purpose clearly, the users would leave it after a while. To ensure that they do not leave, it is crucial to conduct a usability test on them before their launch.
Conducting usability testing efficiently in the right way and the right time can be helpful in reducing the risks associated with developing a wrong product, subsequently saving the money, time and other precious resources of people. Simply put, if usability testing is done at an early stage when a product is at the stage of paper prototyping, the fixes can be made to it in quite a cost-effective and easy fashion. When done properly, it is observed that usability testing can result in good ROI. For example, with a slight designing tweak suggested through usability testing for the UI of Mac, the company got about 90% lesser support calls.
Here are a few of the crucial pointers that mark the importance of usability:
- Aids in checking and evaluating if the product meets the expectations of the users
- Matches the product decisions with proper real-world use
- Helps in the identification and removal of any major flaws from the product
- Allows the website designers to see how successful users are with their tasks
- Assists in getting feedback and user reaction about the product
All web design and development teams can significantly benefit from usability testing as these tests can efficiently indicate trouble spots for the users, and help designers to understand where the users can get stuck or confused. By identifying the problems early on, web designing teams can promptly start working on a solution for it.
UX Design Process