What Tip would you suggest for Usability Testing

Hello All,

As a Tester What tips or resources would you love to share for improvement of usability testing.

Some valuable answers needed…

Thanks in Advance

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Hello Jennifer, great question.

I’m happy to share some thoughts but it would be useful to know from what context you are looking at usability.

If we are focused on the learning aspect of usability we can look to apply scales. For example, a completely new user should be able to complete task A in a minute, a casual user in 45 seconds and an experienced user in under 30 seconds. You could then expand that to cover accessible scenarios such as a keyboard / screen reader user in n time; an older person unfamiliar with technology in n time etc.

Complexity of language used can affect usability. There are many ways of checking readability for example, you can turn on readability stats in work and when you spell check it lists the number of passive sentences, Flesch-Kincaid grade level and reading ease scores. Are acronyms spelt out at least once, ideally the first time used.

Is the language inclusive? They / them. If you collect gender is it more than binary.

Usability can cover a multitude of areas, hence the context question. I’m interested on what others thing too.

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That is a good question, and I am interested in reading more answers. With years of testing experience, I would not consider usability as one of my stronger points. That being said, I do have thoughts.

I stumbled on usablity as something to be tested completely by accident, many years ago. One of my team’s features was implemented quite correctly, but in a way that I thought would be confusing for a typical user. Since I couldn’t figure out how, or even if, I should report the issue, I took it to the team. One of my fellow team members suggested that it was a usablity issue and should be fixed. Since then, I have often had usability in the back of my mind, if I wasn’t explicitly testing for it.

Since then, I have learned…

  1. Use personas (I like https://www.cassandrahl.com/blog/misusing-personas-with-the-seven-dwarfs/ as a reference), what is perfectly usable for one person is not for another.
  2. Use emotions (I like https://www.developsense.com/presentations/2013-05-STAREast-EmotionsInSoftwareTesting.pdf as a reference), if an application gives YOU negative feelings, a typical, non trained user has no chance.
  3. Think about UX principles when doing any testing that involves a UI. (I don’t have any go-to links, so https://www.usability.gov/what-and-why/usability-evaluation.html might be a good starting point)
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Thanks…focused on learning first :grinning:

Thanks for your feedback…

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Thanks for this valuable resource…

I am also excited to read more new things

Thanks for your feedback

To take a step back and look at basics:
Do the type and length of values accepted in the field make sense for that field (i.e., telephone is numeric only and 10 digits, acceptable date format, etc.)?
Does the field include auto-formatting where applicable (e.g., date formatting, telephone formatting). I may be wrong, but I don’t think there are many code bases out there that don’t have a way to program in this type of formatting.
Can you tab through fields?
Does the screen adjust for enabling/disabling scrolling when applicable?
Are functional buttons properly spaced and displayed in the screen where the user can easily use them?

The list goes on. It is good to dig in, but don’t forget to view the surface as well.

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As an experienced QA tester, I believe one of the most important things that testers should understand about usability testing is having a well-defined set of expectations. It should be nothing over the top that makes you lose confidence in your product. Besides, it is even more important to ensure that maximum attention must be given to quality when planning on test expectations.

Some other things that you might need to work on include:

  • Ask maximum from your audience for their thoughts
  • Above all, never take it personally

Read more about: Usability Testing: An Iterative Approach To Leverage Hidden Opportunities

“Usability testing” is a very wide problem space and it often largely subjective based on who’s “using”.

It’s pretty interesting to see the range of answers you’ve gotten here - everything from field validations and QoL features to language complexity and user personas! I’d also lump accessibility testing and things like RUM (real user monitoring) under “usability”.

Not to be difficult, but I’d say your usability testing should largely be informed by the feedback you’re getting from users and the end goals for your product. Put yourself in your user’s shoes and ask, “How could I make life easier while using this product?”

There are a lot of paths that may lead you down, but they will all be impactful for the true usability of your product!

According to me , The key to effective usability testing is to have a user-centered mindset, be open to feedback, and continuously iterate and improve based on the insights gained from the testing process.

  • Clearly Define Objectives
  • Recruit Representative Participants
  • Plan and Prepare Test Scenarios
  • Think-Aloud Protocol
  • Keep the Environment Neutral
  • Mix Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches
  • Iterate and Improve

If you want to explore more tips and suggestion on usability testing, please explore here also: Guide to Usability Testing Principles and Methods!