With all the hard work and even sleepless nights during software development, it is often easy to forget that the purpose of all the effort is to meet end-user expectations and improve user experience. To achieve this goal, you need to understand what your customer needs. An in-depth understanding of your customers’ needs will prevent time-consuming reworks and improve customers’ trust in your brand. This is where conducting usability tests during the software testing phase comes in. Usability tests allow you to develop great products that your target customers will love. It enhances the end-user experience by recording their behavior with the software. There are different usability tests that you can use to achieve your goal of improving user experience.
Overview Of User Testing
User testing, also known as usability testing, is the stage in the software development process where you evaluate your product or software with real users to deliver a product that caters to the desires of your end users. By incorporating automated testing into the usability testing process, testers can ensure that usability issues are identified quickly and accurately, and that user feedback is addressed in a timely manner, resulting in a more user-friendly and effective software product. Automation testing technologies can greatly enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of usability testing by automating repetitive and time-consuming tasks, such as data entry and regression testing, which frees up testers to focus on exploring the user experience and identifying potential usability issues. It also helps you test several features of the products, from specific features to the number of users it can comfortably cater to. This information is then recorded and used to improve the products. An improvement in the product will lead to an improvement in user experience.
Why You Should Test To Improve User Experience
There are many benefits attached to testing to improve the user experience for your software, and they include the following;
- It provides developers with the necessary information about the software and how well it meets the intended requirements.
- With user testing, functional and visual design issues can be identified and rectified. The developing team may have missed this issue, and it could lead to additional costs or time.
- User testing also allows developers to understand how users use the product, providing adequate data for further improvements and releases.
- User testing also allows you to know the real problem with a product so that your team doesn’t waste time and money fixing the wrong issue.
- With user testing, you will spend less time providing support and answering questions because you have provided customers with exactly what they need. Happier customers lead to improved brand awareness and sales.
- Another crucial importance of user testing is that it limits bias. Developers often test the effectiveness with team members. However, this method is not as effective as testing it on the actual users. The feedback from your team members may not be entirely sincere as they might say what you like to hear or not see the product from the end-users perspective. So, to get balanced feedback, you need to test with the users.
- It also saves time and money that would have been used in re-testing the software if the end-users detected an issue.
Three Types Of Testing To Improve User Experience
The type of test you should conduct depends on many factors: your resources, the scope of your software, and your target audience. The tests include:
1. In-person/Remote Usability Testing
In-person usability testing requires the test to be done in the presence of a moderator. This sort of test is completed physically and is usually expensive and time intensive because you need to find an adequate environment, pay the recruit and dedicate a specific time/day to it. However, it provides more information to the researchers or moderator since they can monitor the user’s facial expressions and body language.
In contrast, remote testing is done over the phone or the internet. The moderator doesn’t need to see the person. Remote testing doesn’t provide as much information as in-person testing. Still, it helps test many people from different locations without spending much.
2. Moderated/Unmoderated Usability Testing
As the name implies, moderated testing is issued remotely or in person by a qualified researcher who presents the test to participants, asks follow-up questions, and answers any questions they might have.
Moderated testing is quite expensive to run because of the cost of getting the resources required, like hiring a researcher, renting a research space, and compensating the participants. However, it covers this cost by delivering relevant results. This in-depth result is possible due to the direct interaction between the participants and researchers. Moderated testing also helps analyze user behavior.
In unmoderated testing, there is no direct supervision. Participants are mostly on their own, browsing or using the website or app being tested. Unmoderated testing costs little to set up; however, it doesn’t provide adequate data.
3. Guerilla Testing
In guerilla testing, end users are approached in informal places like restaurants or parks and asked to complete short sessions focusing on a specific test case. This method doesn’t require many expenses but doesn’t provide enough feedback.
Designing software and apps will be for naught if the end users cannot use them or find them difficult.
This is why it is important for developers to make sure they conduct the necessary test that will improve user experience. Not just for an app but also a website or any software.
A website or an app that provides an excellent user experience will be able to retain customers and achieve its goal. It will also help to grow the business and make it more profitable.