Usability testing is a means to see how the real users see your product. In a typical usability test, real users are given products to use under controlled situations and asked to accomplish a task.
The main aim is to improve upon the product/service based on the feedback received. While you go about this method of research to map the consumer’s needs, here are a few do’s and don’ts that can be kept in mind.
- Do get involved in the usability sessions and observe keenly. Being a witness to the participants’ reactions to your product can help you better understand the usability issues, which might be difficult for researchers to communicate through their feedback reports, presentations and meetings.
Don’t draw conclusions based on the feedback from a few sessions. Feedback from a handful of consumers will not reflect the reaction of your entire target consumer. Look for trends rather than focusing on individual opinions.
- Do give a clear understanding to the researcher of your product’s value, goals of your product in the market and what you hope to achieve through usability testing. This will help in getting accurate results. Don’t be a dictator to your user research team. While stating your goals, take into account the experience of the researchers when planning the usability test. Let it be a collaborative process.
- Get the right representatives of your customer base. Misrepresentation will lead you to make wrong changes to your products and strategies. Set a screening process with the recruiter. But don’t set stringent requirements, or else you might not get enough participants.
- Instead of getting all the usability testing done in one large study, start with an expert review. Before actual users are brought in for usability testing, an expert review will help in identifying the product’s most common usability problem. Once that is done you can make changes before engaging in costlier usability testing.
- Go for iterative usability testing. If your product is aimed at a larger target consumer base, then include representatives from every target group at some point in the usability testing
Make sure the usability testing that you plan to conduct is a collaborative process. Know the team well and let them understand you better to cut down on preparation time and requirements. You can optimize the test results by how effectively you collaborate with your user research time.