ask yourself the question, "How important it is
to Remove the Stumbling Blocks?"
A well-planned trial run using the correct navigation
and mockups can prevent problems before they arise which
eliminates the need to re-design.
If an e-shopper gets lost in a maze of clicks and doesn't
make a purchase, that's a big problem. If a visitor
decides not to register on a website due to the lack
of a privacy statement, that's a problem. If employees
can’t figure out how things go together within
the software is a big problem as well.
With proper preparation, usability testing can isolate
these costly problems and point the way to solving them.
In its simplest form, usability testing requires only
three ingredients: an application mockup or website,
a usability tester, and an observer. The usability tester
navigates the application, as a real user would, and
the observer identifies usability problems by observing
the tester's efforts. Add a few ingredients -- more
testers, more observers, a facilitator, a set of well-crafted
test scenarios, and some video equipment -- and you've
got a recipe for success.
Here at Biber we pick five or six testers that represent
the user base and who represent the same range of knowledge
and abilities of the people who will use the application.
Next we do a planning stage to define test scenarios.
A test scenario describes a particular task and asks
the tester to accomplish the task using the application
or website. The set of scenarios should provide sufficient
challenge and time to uncover any significant struggles
with the user interface.
Next is the Trial Run where the tester attempts to
follow one or more of the scenarios. Observers watch
and take notes on how easily tasks are accomplished;
they note the tester's emotional responses as well.
After all testers have been observed, the facilitator
may lead an additional work session with the observers
to analyze and report the usability test findings. If
a videotape was made, the observers might want to review
All of the above is just an overview where finding
things before they happen can save a lot of money and
time. Especially for companies that drive revenue from
their website or application.
To learn more about Biber's products and services, please
contact us at 1-866-626-6300 or email
us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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