On March 22, 2011, The Lean Coffee Kelowna crew discussed Usability Testing, it’s goals and it’s types.

Goals of Usability Testing:

  • Performance — How much time, and how many steps, are required for people to complete basic tasks? (For example, find something to buy, create a new account, and order the item.)
  • Accuracy — How many mistakes did people make? (And were they fatal or recoverable with the right information?)
  • Recall — How much does the person remember afterwards or after periods of non-use?
  • Emotional response — How does the person feel about the tasks completed? Is the person confident, stressed? Would the user recommend this system to a friend?

Types of Usability Testing:

  • Hallway Testing: This is a general methodology of usability testing. Rather than using an in-house, trained group of testers, just five to six random people, indicative of a cross-section of end users, are brought in to test the product, or service. The name of the technique refers to the fact that the testers should be random people who pass by in the hallway
  • Remote Testing: In a scenario where usability evaluators, developers and prospective users are located in different countries and time zones, conducting a traditional lab usability evaluation creates challenges both from the cost and logistical perspectives. These concerns led to research on remote usability evaluation, with the user and the evaluators separated over space and time.Remote testing, which facilitates evaluations being done in the context of the user’s other tasks and technology can be either synchronous or asynchronous. Synchronous usability testing methodologies involve video conferencing or employ remote application sharing tools such as WebEx. The former involves real time one-on-one communication between the evaluator and the user, while the latter involves the evaluator and user working separately
  • Expert Review: another general method of usability testing. As the name suggests, this method relies on bringing in experts with
    experience in the field (possibly from companies that specialize in usability testing) to evaluate the usability of a product.
  • Think aloud: Users are asked to say whatever they are looking at, thinking, doing or feeling as they go about their task. This enables observers to see first-hand the process of task completion

Tools: