Usability testing for software is done to determine whether the system is easy to use for end users or not. It is important for any software to undergo usability testing that verifies the practical use of the software. It is very important that end users should be capable of using the software in easy way.
Primary purpose of performing usability testing
Usability testing is primarily done to test the human made product and its capability to meet its intended purpose. In case of usability testing for software, testing is done on products like websites, web apps, mobile apps, computer interfaces, etc. In regard of usability testing for websites, web apps and mobile apps, it is performed to check whether the user interface is easy to understand and use, or not.
The International Software Testing Qualifications Board (ISTQB) is a software testing certification organisation that operates on international level. As per ISTQB’s definition, usability testing is defined as follow:
“The usability testing is done to determine the extent to which the software product is understood, easy to learn, easy to operate and attractive to the users under specified conditions.”
What Usability Testing Is Not
Usability testing is not simply gathering information or opinion about the product. This can be called as market research but not usability testing. It is not performed by just showing the rough draft of product and asking to users, “Do you understand this?”
Rather usability testing usually involves systematic observation under controlled conditions to find out how well people can use and perceive the product.
Methodologies for Usability testing
Following are some of the methods that can be adopted to perform usability testing:
- Hiring a set of real time users that can work on website or app and report the results.
- Using a tool, which can provide statistics depending on the input of designs and wireframes.
- Hiring a third-party testing team specialized in usability testing.
- Submitting the designs and wirframes to external evaluator and getting the results, etc.
Who performs usability testing?
Usability test can be performed as an internal process in which developers and designers can sit down with user and analyse how user is interacting with the system. Thus, results can be obtained and the system can be modified based on results.
For advanced approach on usability testing, one can hire real time users and distribute particular tasks to them. The facilitator or observer can report these tasks performed and their results which can be used to improve systems.
What parameters are included in Usability Testing?
Usability testing is performed keeping following criteria in mind:
- Testing the load time of website, realistic or not.
- Testing for adequate Text-To-Background Contrast is present.
- Testing the font size and spacing between texts, whether readable or not.
- Testing whether website has any customised page designed for ‘Not Found’ page.
- Testing whether proper ALT tags have been added to images or not.
- Testing whether user can recognize the website navigation easily or not.
- Testing for navigation options are short and understandable or not.
- Testing for reasonable number of buttons and links.
- Testing for company logo’s linkage to home –page.
- Testing for consistency of style of links on all pages.
- Testing for presence of site search option and easy accessibility of site.
- Testing whether URLs are user-friendly and meaningful.
- Testing for HTML page titles that should be explanatory.
- Testing for above the fold presence of critical content.
- Testing for sparing use of emphasis like bold, etc.
- Testing for concise and explanatory nature of main copy.
- Testing for more clear and descriptive major headings.
- Testing for consistency in use of styles and colors.
Advantages of Usability Testing
- Usability testing can find potential bugs and loopholes in the system that is generally not noticed by developers and can even escape other types of testing.
- If it performed using proper resources, it can help to fix all issues that user may face while using the application, even before its release.
- Usability testing can be modified to integrate with other types of testing like system integration testing, unit testing, functional testing, etc.
- Well planned usability testing can be economical and thus can be beneficial and highly effective.
Using usability testing is extremely beneficial before the product launch, as it leads to:
- Easy to use and better quality software.
- Product which is more readily accepted by users &
- Product that shortens the learning curve for new users.
However there are some limitations associated with usability testing like for large data collection, the process can be time consuming. Long-term experiences cannot be tested and also users may react differently when they know that they are being observed.
Despite of few limitations, it is recommended to test your product through usability testing method. It is advisable to conduct it at various stages of iterative design process to ensure that all essential requirements have been met by the final product.
So go ahead.
Krify, a multinational company, provides its software services that includes website, web apps, mobile apps and wearable apps development. We also provide quality testing services to our esteemed clients to shape their product in a best possible way before its release.
Reach us today, to get the free quotation on our website and app development and testing services.