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15th July 2019

The importance of usability testing: What, Why and How

Creating an outstanding user experience makes products and services useful, usable, and actually enjoyable to use. Therefore, UX should be an integral part of product development process. Usability testing should be too.

By Nielsen Norman Group, all usability-testing studies involve a participant performing some assigned tasks on one or more designs. In practice, usability testing means putting efforts in observing the activities and behavior of the users in order to find out what works and what doesn’t work when it comes to digital products. Observing facial expressions, emotions and body language of the user can provide much needed qualitative and quantitative data to figure out possible usability issues with a product. The key benefits of usability testing are determining user satisfaction, collecting data and feedback, as well as identifying usability issues. Over the last couple of years, anyone included in digital product development has been deluged with tools and services dedicated to usability testing which makes it easier to perform activities that will improve the functionality of the product.

Usability is a key component of user experience and as such, it has a strong impact on the overall project. According to research conducted by Fluid UI, usability testing brings many benefits for the internal product development process.

➔ 50% more accurate estimates for build time and costs.
➔ 80% reduced requests for clarifications by the development team.
➔ 50% reduced rework and bug fixes post-launch.

However, it is more than applicable in the real world, too. Another report, the one by Magnetic North, indicates that poor customer experience costs UK brands £234B ($333B) a year and 92% of consumers have had a poor customer experience.

The bottom line, the statistics speak for itself. Conducting usability testing saves both time and money since it reduces the risk of building the wrong product. If you want to build better products, in less time and without wasting resources – the product needs to be something that people will actually love and want to use. That’s why collecting as much relevant knowledge as possible is inevitable. Therefore, user testing is not just a suggestion your team might use or not. What was once a luxury and extracurricular activity when building a digital product is now seen an imperative and an essential aspect of any user-centered approach.

Have any feedback and thoughts on what we’ve covered in this article, or know of other useful usability findings and practices? Get in touch with our team. Differenz team loves engaging in quality and productive discussion.