Usability testing must be done correctly or you will receive invalid feedback, or feedback that isn’t useful. For example, it’s important to conduct testing with subjects who truly represent the target audience, not those who may already be familiar with the site. To better understand how usability testing works, try the following exercise with another person, putting them in the role of the user and yourself in the role of the tester.
Most usability tests ask users to speak their thoughts out loud and they are recorded in order to capture the information. While you won’t be recording the user, you will ask them to respond out loud to some questions. First fied a suitable website to use as an example, and then ask the other person the following list of questions:
- What are your first impressions of the layout of this page immediately upon viewing it?
- What section of the page does your eye go to first?
- Is that section the most important element on the page?
- What associations do the colors and images evoke? These could be emotions, feelings, memories, places, or anything else the colors bring to your mind.
- Without clicking on anything on the site, describe the navigation choices you see on the home page and indicate what you think they do. Feel free to move around the page by scrolling, but do not click on anything right now.
- Without clicking on anything yet, if you were exploring, what would you click on first and why? These questions give you a sense of how a usability test works.
The next step would be to give the user specific c tasks, and pay attention to how they perform them. As you can see, observing users, their reactions, the decisions they make, and any obstacles they encounter is vital to usability testing. We’ve only scratched the surface in discussing usability testing. For a greater understanding, review the resources below.