Friday, June 2

What Is Usability Testing

We conduct tests on a software product, a website, or a service in order to determine the overall quality of the deliverables. This assessment divides into functional and non-functional components. Usability testing is one of the forms of non-functional testing.

usability testing
user testing vs usability testing

Usability Testing is a subset of the information technology sector that focuses on incorporating how “people” want their apps to be — which is never simple. It’s comparable to attempting to read minds. What seems to be common sense is really a complex subject when it comes to usability testing.

In this article, we will comprehend the importance of usability testing, as well as its various classifications. Furthermore, we will examine the various tools and methodologies. Learn the several steps of usability testing and how to assess the outcomes.

Usability Testing

It is a kind of software testing that is not functional. It is widely classified as being understandable, learnable, operable, appealing, and compliant. The purpose is to discover how well we comprehend the software product if it is simple to learn, simple to use, and appealing to users under defined circumstances and criteria.

Why we do usability testing
Why we do usability testing

Typically, this kind of testing is carried out by real-world users, not by the development team. Since the development team designed the product, they are less likely to identify issues relating to the user experience.

Usability testing is broadly classified into three types. These are:

  • Explorative
  • Assessment
  • Comparative

Let us examine these categories in further detail:


This category is often considered during the early stages of the software testing process. The earlier usability testing is performed throughout the testing process, the lower the product’s risk. Typically, during this point, the product’s design and associated ideas are examined for usability testing.


This category provides the evaluation of the test’s end-to-end execution and also analyses the product’s efficacy and user happiness.


In this category, two or more items with identical technology are compared on many factors such as the product’s design, benefits, and drawbacks, which assists in picking the product that gives the best user experience.

As the name implies, in the comparative section of usability testing, we compare two or more comparable types of items in order to comprehend their features, operation, benefits, and drawbacks. This assists in determining areas for improvement in the product’s design in order to attract consumers and dominate the market.

Methods of Usability Testing

The following are the most often usability assessment techniques:

Hallway Testing

When compared to other ways, this is one of the most effective and cost-effective. Rather than qualified experts, this technique involves assigning a few random individuals to evaluate the website or product.

Since random individuals test the service without previous knowledge of the product, they are able to give more accurate results and open input for improvement, if needed. You can learn more about hallway testing from this article.

Remote Usability Testing

As the name implies, remote usability testing is conducted by individuals located in remote locations, i.e., individuals residing in many states or, in some cases, multiple nations for testing reasons. This form of testing is conducted remotely, and any concerns discovered may be reported.

Feedback may be recorded and provided by non-technical individuals. Occasionally, remote testing is conducted using video conferencing. In comparison to other forms of testing, this type of usability testing offers less cost value.

Expert Consultation

The expert in the subject is tasked with testing and providing feedback on the product or service, and then submitting the findings. This form of testing is often rather costly, since it requires the organisation to engage a technological specialist. Additionally, an expert review may be conducted remotely to submit the findings.

This method of usability testing is more efficient and less time consuming. The specialist immediately identifies weaknesses and vulnerabilities in the product or service. Due to the high cost of such testing, customers often avoid it.

This testing is credible due to the expert’s expertise. Expert review is worthwhile when the product has a vital feature and the corporation want to ascertain the user’s opinion prior to releasing.

Automated Usability Testing

As the name implies, this technique of testing is accomplished via the use of automation scripts. We create automation scripts, and when they are triggered, test cases are run. Following the test’s performance, the results are recorded and submitted.

To conduct this form of testing, a business must engage a person that is proficient at creating scripts and constructing an automated framework. This is one of the most often utilized testing techniques since it is less costly than expert review testing and less primary than paper prototype testing.

This is one of the most successful methods of usability testing since it requires less human participation and is less likely to miss any flaws due to automated scripts.

Usability Test Tools

Several technologies help in this process. All of these tools may be broadly classified as follows:

  • Assign tasks/tests to users (finding the users and giving them tasks is a manual activity, outside of the tool). While students are doing these activities, the facilitator may monitor and communicate with them through their computer screen. This is similar to how you would “Skype.”
  • The tool may supply users or you may choose your own. You may submit your page/design as well as the pending activities. The programme will then offer you with video recordings of the user interaction, as well as the user’s remarks. You are free to do your own analysis.
  • Tools that employ eye tracking and heatmaps to detect which area of the website the user spends the most time on. Additionally, some of the tools in this category capture the user’s clicks, scrolls, and mouse movements.
  • Tools that offer feedback on a website, page, or wireframe that you provide as input. Additionally, several of these technologies include questionnaires that aid in establishing clear proof about usability difficulties.
  • Tools for recruiting consumers to participate in your usability test.

Benefits and Drawbacks

The Benefits of Usability Testing

  • By conducting a usability test, we may identify and address any product faults before to the product’s debut. Thus, conducting testing will aid in enhancing product quality.
  • Oftentimes, internal conversations develop into disagreements that may be addressed by usability testing, which aids in a better knowledge of the user experience.
  • Occasionally, it is seen that the development team misses a few small faults that might be discovered during usability testing.
  • Since this input comes directly from the consumer, it enables the firm to tailor the product to the intended audience.

The disadvantages of usability testing include the following:

  • Financial constraints are a significant drawback, since usability testing requires recruiting and managing resources.

For more information regarding software testing such as Agile testing, you can also check our software testing section on our website by clicking here.

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