Usability Testing

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Usability Testing in Software Testing refers to evaluating the ease with which users can use a new application / software product.

Software Usability is ease with which a product can be used by a specific group of users to achieve specified goals with effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction in a specified context of use. Usable software enables workers to concentrate on their tasks rather than the software they are using. In other words, we can say a product as usable, if
  • It’s easy to learn
  • Easy to remember
  • Efficient to use
  • Enjoyable to use
  • Pleasing User InterfaceProvides quick recovery from errors
Every design and development decision made throughout the software development life cycle has an impact on that software’s usability.
Achieving the good Usability of a Software Product:
  • Observing users at their jobs and identifying their typical work tasks and procedures.
  • Meeting with users and trying to find out about their preferences and needs.
  • Evaluate the usability of similar products in the market
  • Include the users early in the development phase
  • Evaluate software against accepted usability principles
  • Consider the above points while during the whole Product Development Life Cycle
Benefits of Usability Testing:
  • Results in technical support savings
  • Good usability increases product sales
  • Good usability positively impacts user performance and satisfaction
  • It also improves development productivity through more efficient design and fewer code revisions.
Procedure for Usability Testing: Usability Testing is different from a normal testing or quality assurance. Below are some important points of Usability Testing:
  • Each test has a specific concern that is tested
  • The participants are real users and so real tasks
  • The participants are observed and recorded. The data is analyzed, problems diagnosed and recommendations made.
Tasks in Usability Testing:
  • Identification of participants from user pool.
  • Determining the usability criteria and measures.
  • Creation of test material and writing task scenarios.
  • Identify the test location
  • Pilot testing materials and procedures
  • Introduction of Product and procedures to the participants
  • Executing the task-based tests i.e. participants are asked to complete a series of tasks that address the specific goals and concerns being tested.
  • Participants are asked to articulate their thoughts, feeling and actions.
  • Recording of video images.
  • Analysis of data and documenting findings
  • Making recommendations.
During the Usability Testing, we can able to identify those areas of the system that will cause users to make errors, become less productive or be unable to complete a required activity.

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