User testing is our most in-depth usability service and the most beneficial for an overall review of usability on a website or web application. It involves recording the thought process and actions of users as they attempt to navigate pre-defined tasks on your website. The resulting data allows us to easily and efficiently identify the majority of usability problems on a given website.
Developing a plan
The first step in the process is to meet with you to build a shared understanding of your goals in conducting a usability review, including your concerns with your existing website. We will also discuss important factors such as the intended audience of your website, and the products, services and information provided by your website.
After the initial meeting, we develop a usability test plan with scenarios and tasks for test participants. These scenarios are formulated to help us analyze how sample users attempt to carry out both simple and complex tasks on your website. We double-check our work by carrying out a practice run of the test in our usability lab, and if necessary, make modifications to the scenarios and testing plan. Then we present you with a document that outlines in detail our usability test plan, the scenarios for test participants, and data we aim to capture during the testing process.
Conducting the tests
We can conduct the tests in our usability lab or remotely. We record user’s interactions with the screen (including mouse-clicks and keystrokes), and record their voices and faces. A facilitator administers the test and takes notes throughout each participant’s test. All of this information is collected and analyzed by our team.
After reviewing the data, we compile a comprehensive report outlining the usability problems discovered through the testing process, and offer suggestions for improving usability on the website.
We meet with you to discuss the results of the usability test and where to go from there. In most cases we will recommend iterating or modifying the website to address the usability concerns revealed in the testing process, then following up with another usability test. The reason is that while some problems might be fixed in a first round of testing, the changes may reveal other usability issues that need to be addressed.
We recommend that websites undergo three cycles of usability testing to ensure that as many usability issues are revealed and addressed in the quickest, most efficient manner possible.