Usability Testing — A Modern Approach

Several decades ago, every usability test entailed a consultant inviting a participant to complete tasks on a desktop, then observing and noting their behavior. There were no such things as ‘in-person’ or ‘remote’ usability tests because all UX research had to be done in the same room.

However, a steady stream of technological innovations and new testing tools has made remote usability tests a viable option since then. Nowadays, remote testing is not uncommon to be the better option.
This article will briefly discuss Remote Usability Testing and its approach.

What is Usability Testing: Usability Testing is user-centric testing, where you can evaluate your product’s design, prototype, or actual product by testing it on a group of real-time users.

Why do you need Usability Testing? Before developing or launching a new product to the market, it’s essential to measure the intuitiveness of the design, user flows, real users’ demand, and pain points. This helps to identify the loopholes in the early stage and makes the design better. Some crucial reasons behind conducting a Usability Testing are:
Removes Designing Issue: Real data from the users makes the designers understand the loopholes in the product design. The users’ experiences and opinions lead to new ideas for resolving issues.
Eradicate Onboarding Bottleneck: Helps improve the retention rate by eliminating issues with video training, tutorials, and onboarding processes.
Identify Users’ Pain Points: Identify the common issues and complexities users have when finishing a task. Likewise, you can find and fix the usability issues before launching the final product.
Smoothens the Development Process: Usability Testing helps prioritize tasks according to real-time feedback. Consequently, it helps to define the development goals and smoothens the process.
Insights about the Market: Usability Testing helps understand users’ demand and ongoing trends and get an accurate view of the market.
Create Better UX: Moreover, Usability Testing helps achieve a better user experience.

When to do Usability Testing? You can do Usability Testing at any point of your product development process according to the need and goals of your business. You can run a Usability Testing
●Before Designing:
●After Creating a Prototype:
●Before the Final Launch of a Product:
●Periodically after Launching:

Who does Usability Testing? Apart from the real users, who’re the actual participants of the testing process, Usability Testing can happen with or without a facilitator. With the advancement of technologies, you can also conduct Usability Testing remotely.

What are the Usability Testing Methods? There are various Usability Testing methods available, but four methods are used vastly.
Quantitative Usability Testing: Quantitative usability testing is used to measure the users’ experience, i.e., If the users are facing any major issue while using the product. It works well to get an insight into the design of the product.
Qualitative Usability Testing: Qualitative Usability testing helps determine the users’ thought processes while using a product. The collected data from a Qualitative Usability Testing indicates the users’ ongoing trends, pain points, and mental models. This study further helps to improve the design of a product.
The other two types of Usability Testing Methods are:
Moderated (Qualitative) Usability Testing: In this case, the testing happens in the presence of a facilitator or moderator. A moderator initiates the session and helps the users by instructing them about required task completion, follow-up questions, and providing the relevant guidance. Moderated testing is appropriate at the initial stage of the designing process.
Unmoderated (Quantitative) Usability Testing: Unmoderated Testing happens without any facilitator. Participants are given tasks to complete beforehand with the following instructions. Users can perform the test at their chosen place and time. This testing method is best suited when quantitative data about a product is required, i.e., how much time an average number of users takes to finish a task.

Remote Usability Testing-A Modern Approach: Remote Usability Testing is among the most popular usability test methods. Especially in a Post-Covid era, where social distancing is a norm and crossing geographical boundaries is restricted, remote testing is the optimal way for usability testing, but it is also cost-effective. Through Remote Usability Testing, users across the globe can participate in the process and help understand insights about a product in the global market.

What is Remote Usability Testing? Remote Usability Testing happens when the participants and the facilitator are in different locations, and the entire process takes place remotely.
When to take Remote Usability Testing? Preferably you can conduct any time during the design process.
What are the Types of Remote Usability Testing? Remote Usability Testing consists mainly of two types. They are moderated and Unmoderated.
Moderated: Moderated Usability Testing happens with the supervision of a facilitator with screen-sharing features via Skype or Webex. In a prototype designing phase, this testing helps to measure time-on-task, error rates, attention, and navigation goals. The advantage of this method is the real-time feedback system via conference call on participant frustration, confusion, or dissatisfaction.
Unmoderated: With Unmoderated Usability Testing, users across the globe can access the given set of data in their natural environment at their convenient time and perform the test. No facilitator is present in this scenario. This testing is helpful to get quantitative data about the participants’ behavior using a more extensive set of data than the moderated one.
Best Practices for Remote Usability Testing: The best practices of creating a practical Remote Usability Test can be achievable in 6 steps:
Choose the best-suited test for you: Choose from the Moderated and the Unmoderated one, whichever is best in the given situation.
Limit the Scope: For remote testing, break your scope for specific flows instead of having an enormous range. It’ll help with monitoring and data collection better.
Search for Appropriate Testers: Search for the most active users.
Create Proper Usability Tasks: Create a proper context and define your goal before conducting testing. Jot down the actionable items and make an easy-achievable task flow initially.
Frame your Questions: For Remote Testing, it’s imperative to frame your question. The participants should understand your background and motive behind the question clearly.
Run Pilot Test: Before sending out the test data with the participants, share a pilot test internally and get review and feedback. This will help the test process be error-free and accurate.
Use Cases for Remote Usability Testing: Some good examples of Unmoderated Remote Usability Testing could be using UserTesting.com and Indigo. Design.
UserTesting.com is the best quick tests-a website where you can post tasks and pay to have a video of a tester completing them returned to you.
With Indigo a design you can create a cloud-based test and share it with the testers and the other stakeholders. The entire testing process is completed in three easy steps: Create, Share and Analyze. The website helps you test your designs with real people and get real-time analytics on the results without compromising the COVID norms and social distancing.

Wrapping Up: Usability testing is critical as it directly affects profits. It should be done regularly, is simple to do, and can be done by anyone. For better testing, more meaningful insights, and more impactful results, choose in-person, facilitated testing over remote, unmoderated testing.

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