Different organizations invest in a software product to achieve their business goals. These goals can be to make their day to day life easier and faster or to sell the product further. To achieve this, the foremost criteria is that the product should be easy to learn and use. System and acceptance tests ensure that the product adheres to its specifications and the requirements of the users. But to ensure that the product is easy to learn and convenient to use for its end users, Usability testing is performed.
Definition of Usability testing
Usability testing is the testing of the product from the end user’s perspective for its ease of leaning and usage. It determines if the product is convenient and practical for its users. Therefore, it verifies the simplicity and convenience of the product for its users.
Example of Usability testing
Suppose, the product is an airline ticket booking website. Hence, the end users of the system are the people who need to book tickets or booking agents. For this product to stand out in the competition, it should not only do the bookings but also should be attractive to its users. So to test its usability towards its users some scenarios can be
- Make the login and search for the availability. Verify if all the functions are simple enough and are easy to complete.
- Make the booking to confirm the ticket. Verify how many forms it needs to complete the booking and all the operations are easy to find. Also, verify if there are any confusing details or instructions which are not clear.
Why Usability testing
A product can be very unique, fast and totally in sync with its business requirements. But all of these qualities are of no use if the users of the product find it complicated to learn and difficult to use. Eventually, such a product will fail in the market. Hence, organizations invest in usability testing to make sure that the product is fit for use and pleasing for their end users.
- simple to learn
- easy to use
- attractive for users
- simple to find and understand features
- practically usable
Process of Usability testing
The objective of this testing is to establish if the product is comfortable and easy for its users. Therefore, the first step towards usability testing is to understand the end users of the product and their requirement.
- Requirement gathering: Understand the users’ expectations of the product. In order to perform effecting usability testing, the testers should recreate the user’s actions and tasks to judge the product’s convenience of usage.
- Planning: This phase lays the foundation in terms of deciding the schedule, objectives, method of testing, and test scenarios. The environment and resources are also planned. The testers from different demographic as per the product’s requirements should be part of the usability testing team. If required, testers can also be recruited.
- Test Execution: The execution of test scenarios takes place in this phase. The recording of test results and corresponding observations also happens in this step.
- Test Result Analysis: The analysis of test results happens in this phase. The identifications of changes to be done in the product are made by all stakeholders.
- Fixing of Issues: Identified issues are fixed and retested.
- To ensure the users of the product will find it easy to learn and use.
- It can uncover user interface issues which make the product complex.
- This testing establishes how easy or difficult it is for the users to accomplish their tasks end to end.
- It definitely helps improve user satisfaction and help in making the product successful in the market.
- It is not a real user case creation in their business environment. So, some factors which affect the product’s usability in the real environment may be missing.
- It is difficult to allocate a budget along with so many other types of testing.
- Finding the right acting users who are serious for testing is difficult.
Usability testing provides proactive feedback about the product’s practicality and ease of use. It helps in various ways in improving the user’s experience and hence their satisfaction with the product. Although it is not the real-life testing of the product in the business environment, it definitely provides meaningful insights into upcoming users’ reactions about the product.