Everything that is useful is not surely meant to mean anything until it passes the usability tests.
Just imagine, you build an app with a great thought and purpose. But you never took the pain to know who your actual users would be and the level of knowledge that they would have. What kind of things they might be expected so that the app proves to be friendly to them.
So the baseline is that any useful app we build should definitely go through usability testing which is simply a process of evaluating an application/ product by testing it collaboratively with end users. In this process, the following points should be taken into consideration: the level of understanding and the technical expertise of the end users. It helps determine how fast, accessible and user-friendly the product or application is.
Why Need Usability Testing?
Now that’s an obvious question asked with a more quite obvious answer to it.
Today, the digital world expects seamless service across all the channels to ensure a delightful customer experience. Digital solutions have become important as businesses look for innovative ways to engage and interact with their customers. The products are not focusing enough on understanding the user’s needs, hence failing to meet their expectations. Applications or products are more interested in adding new features, instead of making them easy-to-use.
In today’s competitive digital world, all products carry almost the same features, but only those make it at the top which is easy to the user. Users are also not willing to spend much time trying to evaluate or understand an application as they have a wide range of options to choose from. A Forrester research says ‘’77% of the users possibly return if an application is easy to use“, and businesses may fall or lose customer base. Usability testing is an intricate environment and requires in-depth planning and expertise in the following areas:
a) Geographic Diversity: Most applications are designed to be accessed all around the world. Hence, evaluations should also cater users all across the globe.
b) Technological Ecosystem: Some applications make sense only within their intended usage environment and tests should be conducted only in that context.
c) Time and Cost: Usability tests should have a quick turn-around time to report, because the recommended fixes should take place in the same development cycle.
d) Security: Certain prototypes cannot be exposed pre-release and most applications carry confidential information hence usability testing should pay high attention to information security.
e) Performance: The speed of access is critical for sustaining the customer foot print and the speed in which application loads, is key for user experience.
f) Accessibility: Tools help make an application compliant with accessibility guidelines, but to give an equal experience to differently abled users, the testing should engage them. Customers are looking for service providers who can offer a diversified user feedback and a measure to determine their applications’ scoring on end user experience.
What to focus on?
To check for the usability of any product following points should be focused up on:
i) Effectiveness: The capability of the product to enable user completing mission and satisfying objectives with accuracy and completeness.
ii) Efficiency: The performance of the user in completing task in relation to the resource spent for this purpose.
iii) Satisfaction: The level of pleasure that the functionality and friendliness of the product give to the users.
iv) Learnability: The level of easiness in the learning the manipulation of the product the first time that they come in touch with.
v) Memorability: The sufficiency of recalling the handling of application after an idle period.
vi) Errors: The amount of errors during the use of a product by the users, the severity, and the easiness of getting over them.
It can be argued that satisfaction and memorability are somehow variables for assessing effectiveness and efficiency of a product, as a product which can be more effective and efficient when it is learnable and memorable. Similarly, errors’ amount is a variable for assessing effectiveness.
Benefits of Successful Usability Testing
1. The companies who embrace usability testing in their products make more product revenue.
2. Increased sales of a product is the company's reputation is improved or substantiated, this results in customers buying other future versions and/or other products by the same company. These pleased clients then help in raising the reputation of the company by giving their positive feedbacks/reviews regarding their experiences of success in utilizing that application/product. This in turn helps other customers to decide and purchase a good product.
3. Making a product more usable can potentially reduce the amount of training required for employees.
4. Consumers of the product may require fewer hours of training, if the product is intuitive enough, which will allow them to be productive with their own company quicker.
5. Companies which pay close attention to the usability of their products will not have to issue as many software updates or maintenance releases compared to other products which suffer problems of usability.
6. Last but not the least, the technical writers find it easier to document during the whole process.
Usability testing is critical for the success of any application or product. BugRaptors has had many success stories to its credit and its usability recommendations improved the client’s product efficiency by almost 10%. The comprehensive report with qualitative and quantitative feedback that BugRaptors provides, gives the client a decisive edge in developing a superior user-friendly application.