Usability testing is evaluating a product or service by testing it with representative users.
What is it?
The primary goal during testing is to identify any usability problems with a product or service.
Typically during a test, participants will try to complete common tasks while observers watch, listen and takes notes.
When to use
Conduct usability testing:
- early - before any development is undertaken
- regularly - at key stages as you product or service evolves
Read our case study of using usability testing: IS Helpline UX collaboration
Rocket Surgery Made Easy
Our go-to source for usability testing is Steve Krug’s Rocket Surgery Made Easy. The book takes you through:
- when and what you should test
- who to test and how to recruit
- picking tasks to test and writing scenarios for them
- conducting the tests
It’s a relatively short book and doesn’t take more than a few hours to read.
Steve Krug’s website also offers a series of helpful downloads, including a test script and recording consent form.