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Table of contents
1.
INTRODUCTION
2.
USABILITY TESTING
3.
WHY USABILITY TESTING
4.
FACTORS THAT DETERMINE THE USER_FRIENDLINESS OF AN APPLICATION
5.
FEATURES
6.
ELEMENTS OF USABILITY TESTING
7.
HOW IT IS DONE
8.
ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES
9.
TECHNIQUES OF USABILITY TESTING
10.
FAQs
11.
KEY TAKEAWAYS
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024

USABILITY TESTING

Author Gunjan Ahuja
3 upvotes
Master Python: Predicting weather forecasts
Speaker
Ashwin Goyal
Product Manager @

INTRODUCTION

Testing is the most crucial aspect of developing an application. To meet users' requirements with the actual code implementation, we need to test the entire application. Now, we need to check various testing parameters. Therefore, different testing methods are there following the requirements. One of them is usability testing. Therefore, let's check it out and learn the whole concept intensively. This testing technique can give the best user experience.

Also Read About, Locators in Selenium

USABILITY TESTING

Usability Testing is part of non-functional testing, considering the user's perspective. This testing technique checks how user-friendly an application is. Whenever we design software, we make sure that it stands out best by simply making it easier to use with fewer major technicalities that don't lead to complexity. Yes, we can't compromise features, but the design should be good enough to meet the application's requirements and the users completely.

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WHY USABILITY TESTING

Now, the question is why usability testing came into the picture?

The major mistake is that we keep on designing the product and implementing it without giving any thought to the usability of the software. What if it becomes complex to use? Then definitely, it becomes less user-friendly. To avoid this, we use usability testing. It is done on the entire application and each module or prototype, depending on its requirements. We can't change design or functionality at the end, i.e., after the final software is ready because it will waste time and money. Feasibility is in keeping on checking the accessibility while developing the application. Therefore, during the entire development process, usability testing is conducted. How the application gets used and user feedback plays a key role.

FACTORS THAT DETERMINE THE USER_FRIENDLINESS OF AN APPLICATION

  • ACCESSIBILITY: We need to make sure that our application is easily accessible. For example: Suppose we launched an application and the link is published over our website to download it. Then, we can't expect users to reach out to our website to download and use it. We need to make sure that it's available over the google play store, ios store, or the android store, where users can download it easily. So, that's how our application will become more accessible. However, we must not compromise with the application's speed because that might lead to disinterest in the application. Response time should be good.
  • EASY LANGUAGE: The language, i.e., the content used in the application, should be understandable by everyone. Despite using complex language, we should stick to more accessible vocabulary, and the layout should be pleasing and finished.
  •  EASY TO UNDERSTAND: The application should be easy to understand, i.e., users should be able to understand the design and function. Complexity should not be there in the application. That's how it will become user-friendly.
  • EFFICIENT ERROR HANDLING: It's imperative to make sure that your application catches the errors that users make and simultaneously throws a pop-up that here you went wrong with the mistake highlighted. Example: In a text field where only alphabetical letters are accepted, if the user enters numeric digits, they should throw the pop-up of just entering the alphabets only. That's how we achieve an efficient application.
  • EASY TO USE: It is being made sure that the user can use all the features, and every part is easy to find, use, and is desirable.

FEATURES

  • It is a non-functional testing technique under Black Box Testing where it just focuses on the outputs of the software without thinking about the internal structure. It is known as behavioral testing also.
  • It is applied over all the prototypes of the software. That's how we reach the best levels of user satisfaction.
  • The accomplishment of planned purposes
  • Minimizes usability errors.

ELEMENTS OF USABILITY TESTING

The essential elements of usability testing are the facilitator, the tasks, and the participant. Let’s read about their roles one by one:

These elements are used when the testing is not done remotely.

  • Facilitator: The facilitator simply guides the participants to perform tasks, gives them instructions, and takes follow-up as well.
  • Tasks: These are the tasks that the user might get acquainted with. These tasks also help overcome the situations that might create troubles later on. Like printer issues, if the software has a printer facility and many more.
  • Participant: The participant is like a real user of the software. The participant performs the task and is often asked to think aloud during usability testing

HOW IT IS DONE

  • Creating a prototype: An prototype is an early presentation of the actual software. It is a very crucial part of the usability testing process.
  • A test plan: It is vital to make a test plan to determine what needs to be tested and how to measure that.
  • Recruit People: Make a group of people who will play the role of end-users. They will use the prototype and develop an objective judgment of the projected application.
  • Finding a suitable testing location: It's unnecessary, but sometimes it can play a significant role in testing and capturing the end user's reactions.
  • Running the Test: Few questions are answered under this:

 The product's highlight, i.e., the most appealing application feature, what's missing, or what needs to be replaced. Would you buy it if given an option, anything unexpected about the application, the most complex area of this application? So, we'll get all these answers while running the test.

  • Document the test results: Everything is captured so that rectification can be done.

ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES

Everything has its pros and cons. Below are the advantages and disadvantages of usability testing.

Advantages of Usability Testing:

  • We can achieve user satisfaction with this testing.
  • Accessible, flexible, desirable, and make an optimized software at the end.
  • We can rectify usability issues before delivering the final software.

Disadvantages of Usability Testing:

  • The end-users team hired to use the prototype can't be 100% correct.
  • The budget can go up as an extra step is added during the software development.

TECHNIQUES OF USABILITY TESTING

There are two types of usability testing: Laboratory Testing and Remote Testing.

  • Laboratory Testing: It is done in a setup with observers and testers. Testers need to test the application under certain conditions, and the observer collects the results.
  • Remote Testing: There is no role of observer. Testers remotely perform testing and share the results.

FAQs

  1. Why usability testing is done?
    To achieve user satisfaction, we do usability testing.
     
  2. Under which testing technique does usability testing come?
    Black box testing
     
  3. What should be kept in mind when doing usability testing?
    Accessibility and easy-to-use aspect should be kept in mind.
     
  4. Which software development life cycle model(SDLC) is suitable for usability testing?
    Prototype Model
     
  5. Is usability testing quantitative or qualitative?
    Usability testing is qualitative as we mostly focus on users’ opinions, their expectations with designs, and their operation. Sometimes, usability testing can be both qualitative as well as quantitative but in most cases it’s qualitative.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

This was all about usability testing. We have tried to give you an obvious idea about this technique through this blog, like how, when, and why it is done. Do attempt interview questions to be confident enough.

Also, check out other blogs related to testing like The Basic of Software Testing and various Testing methods and The 10 Different Types of Software Testing to increase your knowledge.

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