Usability Testing During The Project Lifecycle

By Monal Jain | Nov 25, 2016

Test Early

There are many benefits of usability testing as it allows teams to identify issues before they are coded. Some benefits include being able to learn how long it takes for participants to complete tasks and if they are successful or not, find out the satisfaction level of participants with your product, and identify changes needed in order to improve user performance and satisfaction. Furthermore, it’s important to note that performing usability testing as early as possible can save lots of time and money. Valuable input can be provided even before testing begins. For example, at ChaiOne, a quality analyst performs early testing by reviewing the design wireframes or prototypes and all the UI issues are captured and fixed even before the development begins. Late involvement of a quality analyst for usability increases the rework cost, creates project delays, or limits a good user experience due to tight deadlines, thus affecting the quality of the product. To avoid these issues, remember to start usability testing early.

Test all the time

Usability testing isn’t only done at the beginning though. Testing has to be done throughout the project development. At ChaiOne, during feature testing, usability of an app is checked all the time. Checking the usability of an app means ensuring that we answer questions such as:

  • Is the app user-friendly?
  • Will the user understand what things mean in the app?
  • Is it easy to understand how certain actions work?

As a result of this testing, UI recommendations are provided and implemented to deliver a quality product.

Areas Usability Testing Covers

What areas does usability testing cover? Here is a generalized checklist:

  • Navigation – to check if navigation is easily identifiable and accessible, navigation has no hidden buttons, navigation labels are clear, the app does not have too many loops and has consistent navigation across all the screens.
  • Visual Feedback – to check if colors provide a good contrast, responses in the app are within an acceptable time frame, crucial operations like delete has a confirmation to delete, necessary pop-up messages appear with needed button selections.
  • Interactions – to check the touchscreen interactions. For example, buttons and icons should be the right size and be suitable for big fingers.
  • Content – to check if the content is readable, clear, well formatted, has context specific messages, and no truncated messages.

Conclusion

If the app doesn’t have a good user experience, people won’t use it. People will end up deleting your app and switching over to another app. This can be frustrating because you would have wasted valuable time and effort. To deliver a quality product that is user-friendly, usability testing is essential. Remember: Usability testing should be performed throughout the project lifecycle. The key is to start as early as possible.

Keep these tips in mind when you’re conducting usability testing:

  • Start early
  • While testing, always keep usability in mind.


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