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A Better Approach to Usability Testing

Software industry has been got good edge in the market. At the same time user also rationalized for getting the quality outcome from software industries. Hence testing activity is more important for user point of view. To overcome this problem the system usability testing is performed.

After completion of software modules, testers are ready for system testing. To accomplish system testing the first and most important is Usability testing.

Usability testing is the type of System Testing and is a Black box testing technique; perform against the user requirement. Usability is means of thinking ability of, what and how actual end user is used the software and with accurate perspective. We can say that, specify user achieve the specified goal with user satisfaction, product effectiveness and efficiency. We can perform usability testing task for website testing, software application, mobile technology and more operated devices.

The main use of usability testing is the methodical evaluation of Graphical user interface i.e. GUI as per the usability criteria.

The main aim is to find out root cause of application failure so that underlying defects can be identified, analyzed, fixed and prevent.

Usability tester thinks on end user’s perspective as real people and real feedback, hence this testing activity is most useful and important for user interaction point of view. This testing activity is performing for:

  1. To fulfill qualitative and quantitative usability requirements.
  2. Identify the defects involving in human interaction.
  3. To identify multiple test cases with different point of view, multiple testers are taking this testing type.
  4. To develop user friendly software / application.
  5. To provide actual input to the defect analysis process.


Planning For Usability Testing:

Usability Testing Approach

For the usability testing planning, product specification and evaluation of software is required.

Usability testing can be design for user point of view, for:

  1. More efficient & effective product
  2. User friendly software
  3. More interactive software
  4. Evaluation of software
  5. Easy to access


Usability Testing Approaches:

Usability testing is the process to identify difference between the user requirement and engineering activities. This testing activity can be performed during the testing life cycle any time. A qualitative approach is a more appropriate for detecting major problems and more understanding for depth of product. On the other hand, a quantitative approach is useful to make major changes, to know the major problem, comparison with the competitors and redesigning the product. To perform usability testing all level testers should involved means experienced, intermediate and beginner users. To fulfill this testing task different characteristics are there:

  1. Ease of Learning: In order to accomplish basic functionality, how the new user can learn the system?
  2. Efficiency: To identify the real time of execution, to complete the task is shown the efficient product.
  3. Effectiveness: To evaluate the accuracy of completed project. That effectiveness is carried out during the testing process.
  4. Error Frequency: To identify the occurrence of error in the system and how do users recover from such errors?


Methods of Usability Testing:

There are two methods to perform usability testing:

1. Laboratory Experiment:

Usability testing is performed in controlled environment. This environment is set according to pre-set scenarios. This usability test may be performed on real system. Also by giving demo and paper prototype. User activity is recorded by two ways; on screen activity and record user response & expressions. This method is monitoring by usability experts. Quantitative data is used. Artificial environment is used. This method requires more time. The costing of this method is more expensive.

2. On-site Observation:

This method is similar to the laboratory experiments but conducted on-site. This method enables the study of user’s working environment. This type of testing gives long observation period. It helps to collect the real environment information. Less time is required to complete this type of usability testing method. The costing of this method is less expensive.


Advantages of Usability Testing:

  1. If usability testing is properly planned out it will help for fixing highly severe bugs.
  2. The potential bugs can easily manage.
  3. Usability testing covers the functional testing, integration testing, unit testing etc..
  4. The actual user is involved as early as possible, so it avoids major bugs.
  5. It adopts the software to meet actual work style rather forming another new style.


Over to You:

If you enjoy reading this article please make sure to share it with your friends. Please leave your questions/tips/suggestions in the comment section below and I’ll try to answer as many as I can. I would like all of you to please join this discussion and add more valuable points to it.

Happy Testing!!

6 comments to A Better Approach to Usability Testing

  • Abhijeet

    Nice website.
    I liked it the tag line “DON’T MAKE ME THINK”.
    Appreciated your work.

  • Trupti

    very informative article on Usability Testing, thank you very much…..

  • Narendra

    Thanks again, Overall summary of article is very good.

  • Vivek Narayan

    Your articals are really great . I have one to confirm, what are the stages of sdlc and it sequence.


  • Yogini

    I would like to know more on Regression testing & performation testing. Can you please share the article.

    Thanks in advance.

  • Vishu Rajkumar

    Thank you for sharing. Very useful article indeed.

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