Doing usability testing is a critical step to creating a great digital experience. When you invest in testing you’ll identify problems users might encounter — issues that might have a negative impact on user experience. Pretty straightforward right? Actual humans, that are representative of your users, will expose problems that are likely to escape detection during design and development.

Benefits of Usability Testing

Usability testing allows your teams to identify problems before you invest heavily in development. The earlier issues are identified and fixed, the less expensive the fixes will be in terms of both staff time and possible impact to the schedule. Typically, during a test, participants will try to complete specific tasks. The goal is to identify any usability issues, and collect data (qualitative & quantitative):

  • How participants complete specific tasks
  • The effort, and time it takes to complete specific tasks
  • The level of satisfaction of participants using your digital experience
  • What changes might be required to improve user experience and satisfaction
  • Whether or not the digital experience meets your usability objectives

Generally usability testing is conducted real-time (moderated) in some physical setting, such as a lab. Thankfully effective usability testing does not require a formal usability lab for testing — or even to be moderated.

Nielsen Norman Group is a leading authority in evidence-based user experience research and in this article they share the how and why of remote usability testing:

Remote Moderated Usability Tests: How and Why to Do Them

Summary: Remote unmoderated usability testing is so fast and easy that some teams make it their only evaluation method. But don’t shy away from its more robust alternative, the remote moderated usability test, which can give you more information and is also inexpensive.

Main photo by Medena Rosa on Unsplash