Usability testing and research

Usability testing is an important part of digital product development. You may think your design looks great, but does your audience understand it and want to use it?

What is a usability test?

A usability test puts your current or future product in the hands of users and allows them to try it out. Testing can take place in a controlled environment or in the field using an existing sample of users or ones that are specifically recruited for your research purposes.

Questions to address in usability testing:

  • How easily do users learn what your product is about?
  • Once they understand your product, can they perform tasks efficiently?
  • Do they encounter obvious obstacles or errors?
  • Was it a good experience, are users satisfied?

Watch, listen and learn — Conducting user interviews gives you great insight on how your product is actually being used and perceived

Why is usability testing so important?

Because sometimes organizations take a technology-first approach. Or, teams might decide to design the product in great detail and think that all ideas and features are important. You won’t really know until you test your product with users. This user-centred approach will ensure that business goals and user needs are aligned. One of the main objectives of a usability test is to find out whether or not people find your product useful. Does your product provide utility? Is it easy to use?

We recommend the following approach:

  • Before you start working on a new design, test the old design
  • You can test competitor products with similar features to gather insight
  • Don't overlook paper prototypes. It's fast and cost effective
  • Let your product team watch users using the product
  • Take an iterative approach to the design process

Recruit users that represent your target audience. You can start by testing with only 5 users. Each session is video recorded with detailed notes, we raise issues, insights and make recommendations

How long does user testing take?

  • Preperation, user recruitment and scheduling takes about 10 days
  • One day is required to test with 5 people, at our lab
  • Half a day is required for usability testing, off-site

Interested in a usability test to improve your product?

Contact us to speak to a specialist about this service