Jan Laros

Usability testing 101

Last week I had the privilege to give a lecture for sales and marketing students at Avans in ‘s-Hertogenbosch about the importance of usability testing and how to apply it in any software related project.

The upcoming online marketeers got a speed course with tips and tricks on how to setup a usability test within their own projects. Here are 10 points to keep in mind when creating and performing your own usability test:

  • Invite the right participants to make sure you are testing with the right audience.

  • Define the right tasks which the participants are familiar with to do.

  • The ideal setup consists of a system which enables you to record the screen interactions, the face of the participant and the conversation.

  • Participant, Facilitator & Observers all have their own responsibilities and tasks.

  • A usability test can cause the participant to feel insecure. Make the participant feel at ease and emphasize you’re testing the product, not the user.

  • Let the participant sign consent forms so you can use the recordings for reporting purposes. Don’t use the recordings for marketing goals.

  • A pre-test interview verifies that you’re testing with the correct audience.

  • Ask the participant to think out loud so you can follow their decision process.

  • Convincing metrics such as success/failure rate and time on task helps you in prioritize the outcomes of the test.

  • Convince stakeholders with the findings and present recommendations.

Ever wondered if your software system is being used effective and efficient? Do you sense improvement points but you’re not sure how to formulate them? Our user experience consultants are able to identify improvement points in your software system by conducting usability tests.

Want to know more on how to perform your own usability test or interested in meeting with a UX consultant? Call us and we will help you creating the best possible software system!