If you ever watch someone booking a train at a ticket machine, you will quickly see that in the development of human-machine interfaces, humans represent an important factor. Just by observing, you can learn to understand how users approach a product and what hurdles they may face along the way.
With a combination of observations and interviews, usability tests record how well users can interact with a product. They accompany the development process from the initial design to the finished product and help developers apply the user’s perspective and design their products centered on the user.
Where you want to get to
Usability testing focuses on generating information on the following main issues:
- How effectively can users interact with the product?
- Where do users experience limits in operating the product?
- How tolerant is the system to errors from the user’s perspective?
We provide you with direct solutions for easy and intuitive use. These may be recommendations to fix gaps in the operational logic or even recommendations for the graphical user interface by taking into consideration the interplay between menu navigation, control element, and graphical interface as well as recommendations for redesigning functionalities.
How to get there
In a usability test, users are given specific tasks (use cases) that they should complete by using the product, e.g.:
- “Book a flight on a travel portal.”
- “Enter a specific destination in your onboard navigation system.”
- “Have your blood glucose meter display the results from last week’s test.”
Users are prompted to complete such tasks without training. Their behavior is logged and analyzed.
And the tools to help you reach your goal
Users can interact directly with a prototype of the product. Their actions are recorded step by step – live or on video – and analyzed, for example:
- Where do errors occur when operating the product?
- How quickly are the tasks completed?
- Do users learn operating processes so that errors do not reoccur when tasks are repeated?
- How do users get back on the “right” track after an error occurs?
In addition to direct observation data, users’ personal opinions and impressions are included in the analysis, for example:
- “In which situations were the users uncertain?”
- “Are the symbols used self-explanatory to you?”
- “Where do you personally as a user see room for improvement?”
Usability tests can be performed at any stage of development. At an early stage, simple prototypes, so-called wireframes such as line drawings, are enough to gain initial information on usability. The more developed the concept is, the more advanced the prototype should be as well, since the used symbols, colors, contrasts etc. also affect usability.
Repeated testing with increasingly elaborated concepts will allow you to reach the best level of user-friendliness of the product.