What is Usability Testing?

Updated on
June 27, 2023
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Usability testing is an essential methodology used in website, product, or application testing. It allows the collection of various pieces of data, which can later be used to modify, improve, or optimize said website, product, or application. All of the users need to know how to use the product without getting into some in-depth know-how.

This is where usability testing comes into play. Knowing how to properly apply the usability testing methodology is integral to vital, usable, and accurate data accumulation. Learning all about the methodology is as simple as giving this article a read. 

So, What is Usability Testing?

Usability testing is the methodology that entails the utility testing of a website or application by going through a myriad of different methods. All of these are put in place to establish whether a website or app is ready for publishing. 

It’s one of the most popular methodologies used by professional UX designers. It works to represent how easy the design and interface are to individuals who will wind up using it. To put it bluntly, it’s a necessary form of observation that you should make. 

What Usability Testing is Not

Usability testing is not a magic tool that will make the website or application shine. The design of said product still needs to be interactive, enticing, and pragmatic enough to make sure the product is usable. Without these critical aspects, the usability testing methodology is virtually useless. 

It functions only as a testing method, not a repair effort. Observing real-life users interacting with your product can give some critical insight into the possible errors of the product, but not marginally change it down to the core. 

Usability testing

Elements of Usability Testing

When it comes to usability testing, three core elements are found in most tests. These three elements are:

  • The Participants
  • The Tasks
  • The Facilitator

The participant is the sole most crucial element of usability testing. The participant should be a realistic interpretation of the eventual or existing user of the product. Participants should note and provide feedback about every single question, task, or situation that is offered to them. 
The tasks in question are one of the essential pieces of information in a usability test. They’re mostly real-life activities that the participant might perform in the presence of the product. The tasks can either be very specific or completely vague, depending on the severity and topic of the research. 

The facilitator is the leading guide in the usability test process. He gives answers to questions as to what a usability test is and how to participate in one. The facilitator provides the instructions and answers and solves the problems of the participant while asking to follow up with questions and taking notes. 

The primary role of the facilitator in the usability test is to ensure proper, high quality, valid data without influencing or compromising the participants' behavior. 

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The main goal in the method of usability testing is wholly understanding how existing and potential users might interact with your website or app, and to make modifications according to the test results. This website can currently be in circulation or not yet be released to the public.

The facilitator, tasks, and participants all play a vital role in the usability test process, co-operating to form valid, quantitative, and quality data. This data can later be used to improve the product or the service with fundamental insider knowledge.

Read more about our Usability testing process here.