What is Usability Testing?
It took Unilever 45 generations and 449 designs to create the perfect nozzle for dispensing washing powder. Sir James Dyson created 5127 prototypes of Dyson’s dual cyclone technology before he successfully created the right fit to go into the vacuum cleaner. For these examples, arriving at the final version of their products which worked successfully for consumers, Unilever and Dyson conducted numerous tests to measure usability.
What is Usability in User experience?
Usability means how easy a product is to use and how easily a user can accomplish a given task with the product or service. Determining whether the user finds the product or service confusing and hard to negotiate or easy to use and user friendly is the usability.
User experience or UX refers to the overall experience of the users with a product or service from start to finish. The user experience comprises of the look, feel (joy of use) and usability. Usability is embedded in user experience design and it makes an important contribution to UX. Usability is measurable.
As a product designer, your aim should always be to create products and services that will give meaningful and relevant experiences to the users. This covers the entire design thinking process, including usability.
Usability can be likened to a free highway that gets you from point A to B while user experience is how the highway has been constructed, the detailing of the road – the quality of the road material, the color of the curbs, the signposts, and the lane pattern for ease of access. Usability is a narrower concept than UX.
Usability Testing vs. User Testing
Travis Kalanick, the founder and CEO of Uber App was stuck in traffic one day and couldn't get a cab. He took the problem in stride and decided to find a solution. He approached friends, family, people at bus stops etc. and asked them if they would love to have an app which could get them a cab. This is user testing. When he had enough people on board with his idea, he designed an app and asked people to try booking a cab. He noticed where people got stuck and fixed it. This is usability testing.
Testing your products or services with real users is the most effective way of identifying where the main usability problem lies. There is no sense in launching a faulty product or service that will not work or be useful. Even if it cost you nothing to produce your product, it means you just wasted time and effort creating something no one will ever find useful.
You can learn more about Usability Testing when you sign up for our Go Create USA bootcamps. We are starting soon. Click here to sign up.