Is Usability Testing Really Necessary?

Absolutely! Anything from websites to software programs need usability testing.

This usability blog posted several tools that are very helpful while usability testing. My personal favorite is starting out with pencil and paper (free!), and then creating more refined digital mockups for testing. In my opinion, you can never do too much usability testing.

You can approach usability testing however you want, really. You can use basic black and white, pencil and paper. You can use full color. Possibilities are endless. During your last round of usability testing, it should be on the final product. It’s always a good idea to test prior to a release to catch any bugs.

It is important to test as many people as you can in your target audience.  Find your friends, neighbors, and even random strangers: ask them to help you out! Rewarding testers with food also helps to give you a good turnout. It is best to not test strictly with your family and close friends (they probably won’t give you the criticism you need). While usability testing, be sure to record pauses, how long it took the user to complete the task, etc.

It is best to find errors early in the development process. The longer you wait to do usability testing, the harder it will be to fix those errors. Here is an example of a website usability checklist. There are several to choose from out there. Checklists are very helpful. They help you to think of things you skipped over or never thought about.

Do you do usability testing for your websites or programs? Why or why not?

(PS: This is a trick question. You should ALWAYS do usability testing!)

Thinking about your next web development project? Let TBH Creative help to make sure your website is user friendly!