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Product Usability Testing: Use It or Lose It

Product Usability Testing  – Use It or Lose it

There’s a lot to be said for beautiful and clean interfaces. However, just because something is aesthetically pleasing doesn’t mean it’s easy to use. That’s where usability testing comes in.

Sure, quality assurance (QA) testing can identify bugs like broken features and missing functionality. But it often misses flaws that aren’t as obvious, such as navigation, flow, and interface issues.

On the other hand, usability testing—watching people while they actually use your product—is one of the best ways to uncover these problems. Here are three big benefits of usability testing:

  1. You’ll save time and money – There are a lot of guesses and assumptions that go into building a product. Imagine spending hundreds or thousands of hours building product features only to discover after your product launch they weren’t what users wanted. Conducting user testing—early and often—could have confirmed or refuted your hunches right away, allowing you to feel confident you’re building what your users want and need.

  2. You’ll make better decisions – Remember, product managers usually aren’t the ones who will use the actual product. How they think users will use the product and how they actually do use it may be different. When you ask actual users what works well and what doesn’t, decision-making becomes a lot easier.

  3. You’ll increase user satisfaction – Even if you get all the features right, no one likes overly complicated tasks. Usability testing can uncover what steps in your process are unclear and which are intuitive. Ensuring users can quickly complete tasks in your product keeps them coming back for more.

People sometimes resist performing user testing because they think it will slow down the development process and add to the overall cost. Others resist because they’re sure they know what they need.

Our experience has shown that, in the vast majority of cases, neither of these is true.

You’re making a big investment in your product. Our job is to help you allocate that investment wisely. Usability testing is one of the ways we do that.

As always, if you have questions about usability testing, reach out.