Usability testing is a product testing method used to determine the level of its usability, its convenience, attractiveness and ease of working with an application or a website. This type of testing allows you to evaluate the “friendliness” of an application or a web service, confirm passing of user scenarios, assess the ease of navigation, completeness and accessibility of the content, increase the product relevance and conversion rate.
Usability testing is a part of the user experience testing, or UX testing (that is, testing of the users’ emotions, sensations, physical and psychological reactions during their interactions with the product), and is aimed at detecting major and minor flaws in the interface and other components of the product.
Usability testing types
Depending on the goals and objectives set for the testers (search for problem areas in using the resource, or running user scenarios) usability testing can be divided into:
Exploratory testing. This subtype of testing is used at the stage of concept development of the product interface and is used to determine its convenience for the users, for example, the ability to enlarge text and images, perform complex sequences of actions, launch video and sound effects;
Verification testing aims at identifying flaws and bugs that reduce the attractiveness and usefulness of the product for the target users, negatively affect the accessibility, visual attractiveness, reliability, ease of search for all components of an application or a web service.
Comparison testing is required to compare the operation of older and updated versions of the product.
The following methods are used while conducting the product usability testing:
- black box testing is performed without access to the code. This method utilizes various techniques, such as eye-tracking, observing respondents, creating focus groups, A/B testing, concept and user metrics testing, and split research. All of them aim at studying the level of user’s comfort when working with the product;
- white box testing consists in running test cases created on the basis of the product software code. This usability testing method allows to track and report bugs that reduce usability (ease of navigation, search and download speed, design quality, logical layout of the design elements, accessibility of product components) of the applications or web resources with strong functionality.
These testing methods are carried out using manual and automated technologies on real equipment and with the involvement of respondents based on the detailed test suites. All identified errors, critical bugs and defects in the developed software products are recorded and reported into bug reports and bug trackers.