Usability Testing: What? Why? and How?

Tram Ho

Usability Testing is a black box testing technique. Usability testing is done with the user’s perspective. This is a technique implemented in user-centric interactive design to evaluate a product or service by testing it with a number of users. On the web, usability is the most important and necessary condition to exist. If the site is difficult to use, people will not stay on this page. If the page content or details are difficult to read or understand, people will also leave the page. Therefore, usability testing plays an important role to assess the ease of use of the user interface.

Usability Testing

I. Definition of usability testing

Usability testing forms a user experience research method, often a qualitative method, at the core of UX research. It is primarily intended to test the ease of use of products and functions. A typical (potential) user of any digital product can interact with it without being discouraged and easily accomplish the set goals. Imagine the findings and insights that make usability testing as a guiding decision regarding the product. Not only design but also strategy and priority features are good, just to mention a few. There is no perfect standard saying how to do it. Usually, you will have to tweak and customize this method to fit the context. The most important first step: Learn the basics of usability testing, start taking tests and make them an essential part of your UX development process.

Purpose of usability testing:
It not only serves as a method to explore usability issues but also shows what works. Case studies: Identify key product usability issues Check if users understand the steps to perform tasks and navigate, observe how they perform tasks easily and quickly quickly, determine the value of the application or website – do your potential customers understand?

When to test usability?

Basic answer: any and every time of the product cycle.

  • When forming a concept (you can even test competitors’ paper prototypes or applications on the website or application)
  • Start a project – check what is the current solution you want to improve
  • UX design or redesign phase
  • In the development process
  • During product monitoring
  • Back up some weird quantitative data

II. What is included in usability testing?

What is included in usability testing?

1. Accessibility


  • Check on the actual download time of the Website.
  • Check whether the color of the contrasting text on the background matches.
  • Check if the sound is noticeable or not.
  • Check that the font size and the space between the texts can be read correctly, causing confusion.
  • Check if the site has a 404 page or any of the Custom Design Not Found pages.

2. Navigation

  • Check whether users easily recognize site navigation. The layout for navigation areas is easy to identify.
  • Check if the navigation options are easy to understand and concise.
  • Check if the number of buttons / links is reasonable.
  • Check if the Company Logo is linked to the Homepage.
  • Check that the style of links is consistent across all pages and easy to understand.
  • Check if the search is easily accessible.


As the example above, navigating users to sign up to play the game is very easy to identify through buttons that are highlighted and simple with only 3 steps.

3. Content

  • Check if the URL makes sense and is user friendly.
  • Check if the HTML page title is explained.
  • Check if important content is on the screen.
  • Check that the emphasis (in bold, etc.) is used appropriately.
  • Check that the main headlines are clear and content enough.
  • Check that the content is detailed enough, is ambiguous.
  • Check that the presentation style and color are consistent.

Looking at this site, do you feel confused and distracted? I see nothing striking in the eye except for the big ad in the middle of the screen.

III. The main benefit of usability testing

  • Reduce development and redesign costs, increase user satisfaction.
  • Help determine the actual requirements and tasks of users before the design time.
  • Analyze the strengths and weaknesses of your website design.
  • Limited graphics with the functionality of the design.
  • User productivity increased, costs reduced.
  • Increasing business brings customer satisfaction.
  • Reduce user adaptation time and error.
  • Provide better quality software for end users or customers.
  • The software will be easily understood and used by end users or customers.
  • Software is more acceptable to users.
  • Shorten the time to get acquainted with the product for new users.

IV. Advantages and disadvantages of usability testing

1. Advantages

  • Usability testing will find serious bugs and risks of the application being tested, those errors will not repeat on the developer.
  • Using the correct resources, usability testing can support to overcome the problems that users encounter before releasing the application.
  • Usability testing can be modified as required to support other types of tests such as Function testing, Integration testing, and Unit testing. ), smoke testing, etc.
  • Planned usability testing brings more economic value, higher success.
  • Potential issues are addressed early before the product is launched.

2. Cons

Planning and data collection process is time consuming. When there’s a usability issue, that’s confusing because it’s more subjective.

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Source : Viblo