The rule of thumb to follow in the world of user experience or UX web design is ‘Always be testing.’ However, for most of the UX designers, it is not always easy because most of them do not know clearly how to go about usability testing for the site they have designed. Putting it in simple terms, they do not know what exactly they are testing it for.

Fortunately, there are lots of sites that will speak of the what, how, and why of usability testing that you can search for and take a cue from. Or else, continue reading!

What is usability may be the first question that may come to your mind if you are new to it? Therefore, start with knowing the definition of usability testing before you begin to examine the different components of it.

According to the experts, Usability testing is the quality feature that evaluates the user interface and how easy it is to use. The term ‘usability’ also refers to the methods followed to improve the ease in its use during the designing process.

The useful components

The usability experts have come up with the most valuable parts of usability testing. These are:

  • Learnability – This implies how easily the users can accomplish the necessary tasks when they encounter the design for the first time.
  • Efficiency – This evaluates the speed of the design to see how fast the experienced users can achieve any specific task.
  • Memorability–This indicates how easy it is for the users to remember the process of using it effectively when they return to the design next time after a specific period without using it. This means, whether or not the users have to start all over again from learning everything to use it.
  • Errors – This component of usability testing determines how many mistakes the users usually make while using the design and the degree of severity of these errors. It also evaluates how easily a user can recover from such errors.

Last but not least, usability testing also determines the satisfaction level of the users after using the design and how much they like and willing to use the system again.

Usability importance

The importance of usability and its goal is to identify the issues if any, in the usability of the design. It also emphasizes on collecting different quantitative data such as:

  • On the performance of the participants
  • The time is taken for each specific task to complete
  • The rates and severity of errors and most importantly
  • The likability and satisfaction level guaranteed by the system.

If you require something in simpler terms, then it can be said that usability testing is the process to find out whether or not a website is easy to navigate. If not, how it can be rectified.

Usability testing is an essential aspect of UX design and all user experience web designers have to spend a lot of time on it. They must make sure that their design system clearly articulates the specific purpose, or else the users will leave the site.

The challenges involved

You may now ask since it is an essential part of UX design then why do designers overlook it. The simple reason for some designers to feel usability testing is a daunting task is that they know what to test for. Of course, this makes usability testing a comprehensive, costly, and often a challenging process.

  • However, if you know what you are testing and what is it that you are trying to discover. Then usability testing can be a task that can be done relatively quickly.
  • Such knowledge will eliminate the challenges in monitoring usability and testing the design. Elsewhere, it can surely be a waste of time, energy, and money as it is with a few UX designers.

The biggest challenge in UX design is that the website manager needs to understand and know how humans work. In most of the times, the user experience designers follow the wrong process and focus more on how they can correctly manage the content. They, therefore, emphasize on knowing how a content management software or the search engines work, making usability testing all the more difficult, if not impossible.

Tasks come first

Usability testing involves measuring the five components mentioned previously. You can do it much easier if you gather all the relevant data first and more importantly evolve the website to make it more user-friendly. This will inevitably affect the bottom line of the business, ultimately.

Therefore, there are a few principles to follow to ensure proper usability testing.

  • Tasks come first and design second ideally in this process.
  • The definition of a well-designed site is that which ensures that the targeted users get to work on a pretty user interface.
  • In addition to that, they should also have an interface that is easy to navigate.
  • They also get all relevant information that will help the users to complete a particular task, whether it is for making a purchase or gathering information and local news.

Even then, several websites are found to be not so easy to complete these specific tasks, no matter how pretty it is graphically.

Therefore, make sure that:

  • You meet with the needs of the users
  • Focus on making the task completion efforts of the users your primary objective
  • Not emphasize on managing the technology
  • Do not control the content of the information in it and
  • Do not concentrate on managing the graphics either.

Tasks and only tasks are what you should manage, and once that is established, everything else, including the technology, design, and content will fall easily into place.

Conclusion

Therefore, usability testing is primarily vital because no website is perfect and should be continually evolving. You must make sure that it is in tune with the user behavior that changes according to age, experience, interest, and other demographics.

The best approach to follow is to focus on user feedback and work accordingly.

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Ariya Stark
Ariya Stark

Ariya Stark is a blogger and content writer who write many articles on Health, Travel, Business, Web Design, Social Media and Technology. She enjoys reading a new thing on the internet. She spends a lot of time on social media.