UX: Usability testing

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Theoretical Part: What is What

Pretty often “user testing usability testing” is considered to be synonymous and thus interchangeable notions. However, the reality is not that simple.

Overall, these processes are both applied to investigating product/ website/ application convenience. One of main differences between them is appliance time. While UX design researcher must check customers’ opinions concerning the product after its creation, usability testing agency develops  product features to be simple and convenient in use.

Usability test is a comprehensive site test for its convenient visual perception and correct operation for all technical elements. For visual perception convenience, responsibility lies on UI-design. In order to check website technical elements, audit analysis is applied.

In turn, UI-design is a process of creating a prototype product or visual interface which will be convenient for users in accordance with developers’ opinion. UX user testing is a process of checking created product with the target audience help or those users who may be interested in website performance.

Practical Part: Difference between Notions

To make the difference between website usability testing companies activities and user testing session, let us puzzle out a ketchup-design case.

According to the designer, a ketchup bottle to be sold should have the following characteristics. First of all, it should be compact, offer a convenient hand-fit, and have an upper opening cap, a stylish design and an outlet dispenser. That is an example of UI-design, namely, creating a product that seems to satisfy a target customer from developer’s perspective.

Then created product is given to a customer for usertesting. To his mind, a bottle is useless since it is small and contains a little amount of ketchup, has no bottom opening cap, and non-efficient built-in dispenser. This product testing in practice is called user research UX design.

Usability Research: Main Features

With the web usability testing help, it is possible to determine site/ application ergonomics (adaptability to use).

Overall, usability testing analysis includes following steps:

  • evaluation of a site/ app design conformity to its functionality specified by a target customer;
  • graphic elements analysis is applied, including color design in terms of perception;
  • navigation ease and link structure evaluation;
  • text content analysis (the ease of information perception, text structure, etc.);
  • front text design analysis.

Besides, a website or an application will be considered intuitive in use and ergonomic, if the following usability five criteria are present and valid:

  • usefulness — regarding product effectiveness, namely, how great a product copes with solving user’s tasks and satisfying their aims;
  • efficiency — speed and ease of work with a product (for instance, how many steps/ actions should be done for achieving a particular result);
  • learnability — a product should have an understandable learning curve and be available for non-techno-savvy users;
  • satisfaction — emotive part of experience (for instance, if a product evokes a desire recommending it to your relatives/ friends/ acquaintances, then product’s aim is achieved);
  • accessibility — overall, it should be a multi-optional product which is available for users, regardless of their location, occupation, physical abilities, etc.

User Experience Research

A wide research of website UX testing methods is available for marketers and web designers. They include both classic and advanced practices.

It is hard imagining useability testing without results of user testing companies’ work. Overall, these two investigations are so-called meeting of supply and demand.

Naturally, study effectiveness depends on whether the method is chosen correctly. But to make this crucial decision-making, main ways of website user experience testing are worth being mentioned:

  • research in usability laboratories — during this user testing analysis, each group of respondents individually meets the researcher in a special lab, where he performs a number of tasks on using the product/ service, following a particular scenario;
  • interviews;
  • questionnaires;
  • moderated remote study — remote usability testing service research, carried out with the help of programs for screen sharing and joint device management;
  • unmoderated remote panel study — a group of experienced test-users check website/ application efficiency on devices with the product;
  • concept testing — another kind of user testing services, applied for determining whether offer characteristics and properties match target audience needs;
  • feasibility study — this type of user testing websites makes participants to compare several options of product’s virtual design, specifying successful and failing features in accordance with a pre-compiled list of characteristics;
  • A/B testing as a part of UX testing services.

Rules to Make Website Usability Testing Services Work

One of the Nielsen Norman Group founders, Jacob Nielsen, has created 10 rules how to create a well-thought-out user interface for achieving the aim of both web user testing and usability testing UX — create a qualitative and convenient product:

  • system information capacity — a user must always know the current application/ website status;
  • product proximity to the real world — dialogue with user should be conducted in an understandable manner, without using specific terminological units;
  • exits are unique — the system must always have “emergency exits,” regardless of mistake appeared;
  • say “no” to ambiguity — it is better avoiding using words with multiple and sometimes controversy meanings;
  • providence — the system should be self-curable and protect the user from possible errors;
  • visibility — a user should not puzzle over trying for understanding what he should do or remember how he reached a particular state of the system. That means possible manipulations with the product should be visual all the time;
  • flexibility and efficiency — it is necessary to provide experienced users with the opportunity for avoiding routine activities and hide advanced level of product from newcomers at the same time;
  • conciseness and accuracy — dialogs should contain necessary and relevant information for a user, there is no need for demagogy;
  • loyalty to mistakes — information about mistakes should be clear and contain hints for further actions;
  • permanent inquiry — no matter how informative designed system is to be, it should always contain a FAQ section or other sort of helpful documentation.

Methods of Improving Usability Testing Sites

One of the simplest ways of making your usability testing company successful is following foolproof principles.

In the 1960s, Shigeo Shingo, a Japanese manufacturing engineer who created Toyota’s production system, formalized the poka yoke concept, known as “idiot proof”. In simple words, it is a method of software/ website/ equipment protection against obviously user’s wrong actions both during use and maintenance or manufacturing.

Among the brightest examples, there is control of data entered by a user for compliance with permissible type, range of values, number of signs, etc., as well as suppression of attempts to disrupt the system by entering deliberately incorrect information.

Another way for achieving mentioned aim is going for PDCA. This is an abbreviation for Plan-Do-Check-Act. In simple words, it is a four-step method of management, also known as the Deming cycle, which implements a continuous improvement process. In turn, it is reduced to a simple and logical sequence of actions. It is necessary to plan the activity and create requirements for it, so that later judge how effective and successful the process and the result are.

Science vs. Intuition

In 2014, Marks & Spencer redesigned its website. For information, redesign costed about £150 million. The UX community and company’s designers found the changes positive.

However, user testing was not applied. Immediately after the launch of updated design, sales decreased by 8%. Overall, losses totaled $10 million per month.

Wrap It Up

When a user visits a website for the first time, the first impression can be hardly underestimated. First three seconds will help him understand whether he likes the design. Then it will be high time for checking its efficiency and content information capacity.

If everything works fine, a user will be ready to perform desired target action, for instance, subscribe to newsletters, etc. To make this consequence of events possible, a qualitative user testing service and usability testing are a must-have. In this case, you can perform this analysis on your own or appeal to UX research companies, for instance. The main aim here is achieving customers’ and manufacturers’ satisfaction.

Theoretical Part: What is What

Pretty often “user testing usability testing” is considered to be synonymous and thus interchangeable notions. However, the reality is not that simple.

Overall, these processes are both applied to investigating product/ website/ application convenience. One of main differences between them is appliance time. While UX design researcher must check customers’ opinions concerning the product after its creation, usability testing agency develops  product features to be simple and convenient in use.

Usability test is a comprehensive site test for its convenient visual perception and correct operation for all technical elements. For visual perception convenience, responsibility lies on UI-design. In order to check website technical elements, audit analysis is applied.

In turn, UI-design is a process of creating a prototype product or visual interface which will be convenient for users in accordance with developers’ opinion. UX user testing is a process of checking created product with the target audience help or those users who may be interested in website performance.

Practical Part: Difference between Notions

To make the difference between website usability testing companies activities and user testing session, let us puzzle out a ketchup-design case.

According to the designer, a ketchup bottle to be sold should have the following characteristics. First of all, it should be compact, offer a convenient hand-fit, and have an upper opening cap, a stylish design and an outlet dispenser. That is an example of UI-design, namely, creating a product that seems to satisfy a target customer from developer’s perspective.

Then created product is given to a customer for usertesting. To his mind, a bottle is useless since it is small and contains a little amount of ketchup, has no bottom opening cap, and non-efficient built-in dispenser. This product testing in practice is called user research UX design.

Usability Research: Main Features

With the web usability testing help, it is possible to determine site/ application ergonomics (adaptability to use).

Overall, usability testing analysis includes following steps:

  • evaluation of a site/ app design conformity to its functionality specified by a target customer;
  • graphic elements analysis is applied, including color design in terms of perception;
  • navigation ease and link structure evaluation;
  • text content analysis (the ease of information perception, text structure, etc.);
  • front text design analysis.

Besides, a website or an application will be considered intuitive in use and ergonomic, if the following usability five criteria are present and valid:

  • usefulness — regarding product effectiveness, namely, how great a product copes with solving user’s tasks and satisfying their aims;
  • efficiency — speed and ease of work with a product (for instance, how many steps/ actions should be done for achieving a particular result);
  • learnability — a product should have an understandable learning curve and be available for non-techno-savvy users;
  • satisfaction — emotive part of experience (for instance, if a product evokes a desire recommending it to your relatives/ friends/ acquaintances, then product’s aim is achieved);
  • accessibility — overall, it should be a multi-optional product which is available for users, regardless of their location, occupation, physical abilities, etc.

User Experience Research

A wide research of website UX testing methods is available for marketers and web designers. They include both classic and advanced practices.

It is hard imagining useability testing without results of user testing companies’ work. Overall, these two investigations are so-called meeting of supply and demand.

Naturally, study effectiveness depends on whether the method is chosen correctly. But to make this crucial decision-making, main ways of website user experience testing are worth being mentioned:

  • research in usability laboratories — during this user testing analysis, each group of respondents individually meets the researcher in a special lab, where he performs a number of tasks on using the product/ service, following a particular scenario;
  • interviews;
  • questionnaires;
  • moderated remote study — remote usability testing service research, carried out with the help of programs for screen sharing and joint device management;
  • unmoderated remote panel study — a group of experienced test-users check website/ application efficiency on devices with the product;
  • concept testing — another kind of user testing services, applied for determining whether offer characteristics and properties match target audience needs;
  • feasibility study — this type of user testing websites makes participants to compare several options of product’s virtual design, specifying successful and failing features in accordance with a pre-compiled list of characteristics;
  • A/B testing as a part of UX testing services.

Rules to Make Website Usability Testing Services Work

One of the Nielsen Norman Group founders, Jacob Nielsen, has created 10 rules how to create a well-thought-out user interface for achieving the aim of both web user testing and usability testing UX — create a qualitative and convenient product:

  • system information capacity — a user must always know the current application/ website status;
  • product proximity to the real world — dialogue with user should be conducted in an understandable manner, without using specific terminological units;
  • exits are unique — the system must always have “emergency exits,” regardless of mistake appeared;
  • say “no” to ambiguity — it is better avoiding using words with multiple and sometimes controversy meanings;
  • providence — the system should be self-curable and protect the user from possible errors;
  • visibility — a user should not puzzle over trying for understanding what he should do or remember how he reached a particular state of the system. That means possible manipulations with the product should be visual all the time;
  • flexibility and efficiency — it is necessary to provide experienced users with the opportunity for avoiding routine activities and hide advanced level of product from newcomers at the same time;
  • conciseness and accuracy — dialogs should contain necessary and relevant information for a user, there is no need for demagogy;
  • loyalty to mistakes — information about mistakes should be clear and contain hints for further actions;
  • permanent inquiry — no matter how informative designed system is to be, it should always contain a FAQ section or other sort of helpful documentation.

Methods of Improving Usability Testing Sites

One of the simplest ways of making your usability testing company successful is following foolproof principles.

In the 1960s, Shigeo Shingo, a Japanese manufacturing engineer who created Toyota’s production system, formalized the poka yoke concept, known as “idiot proof”. In simple words, it is a method of software/ website/ equipment protection against obviously user’s wrong actions both during use and maintenance or manufacturing.

Among the brightest examples, there is control of data entered by a user for compliance with permissible type, range of values, number of signs, etc., as well as suppression of attempts to disrupt the system by entering deliberately incorrect information.

Another way for achieving mentioned aim is going for PDCA. This is an abbreviation for Plan-Do-Check-Act. In simple words, it is a four-step method of management, also known as the Deming cycle, which implements a continuous improvement process. In turn, it is reduced to a simple and logical sequence of actions. It is necessary to plan the activity and create requirements for it, so that later judge how effective and successful the process and the result are.

Science vs. Intuition

In 2014, Marks & Spencer redesigned its website. For information, redesign costed about £150 million. The UX community and company’s designers found the changes positive.

However, user testing was not applied. Immediately after the launch of updated design, sales decreased by 8%. Overall, losses totaled $10 million per month.

Wrap It Up

When a user visits a website for the first time, the first impression can be hardly underestimated. First three seconds will help him understand whether he likes the design. Then it will be high time for checking its efficiency and content information capacity.

If everything works fine, a user will be ready to perform desired target action, for instance, subscribe to newsletters, etc. To make this consequence of events possible, a qualitative user testing service and usability testing are a must-have. In this case, you can perform this analysis on your own or appeal to UX research companies, for instance. The main aim here is achieving customers’ and manufacturers’ satisfaction.

UX: Usability testing

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