Top 8 Usability Testing Best Practices You Must Know

usability testing best practices

Usability testing can make or break your business. You should always put your customers at the top of everything. Pay attention to their needs and wants. If you want to find out what your customers really want, you need to conduct usability testing. Without it, you might develop products that your users don’t even need or can’t use properly. But don’t worry, we’re going to review usability testing best practices here. Keep reading to find more.

Forget about designing and advertising a new product if you’re not conducting usability testing. Soon after people buy your product because of its good looks, they’re going to become unsatisfied and leave you for competitors because they can’t use it well. 

Note: One of the usability testing best practices is using session replay software like WatchThemLive to understand users’ pain points. Sign up here and give WatchThemLive’s session replays a try now and get real results!

What Is Usability Testing?

Usability testing is the process of evaluating a website, app, or product’s usability. UX researchers conduct usability testing by observing sample groups interacting with the product. 

Usability testing aims to find any problems that customers might face while working with your product and make room for improvement.

You should know when to conduct usability testing in different stages of making your product; however, they say the more, the merrier! Try to run a test as much as possible with the usability testing best practices we explain below. 

What Are Usability Testing Best Practices?

Follow these user testing best practices to conduct a more fruitful test to help both you and your customers.

1. Come Up with a Plan

One of the usability testing best practices is coming up with a plan. Successful people always plan no matter what they’re going to do, and you want to be one of them, right? So take a pen and a paper and start planning!

For conducting a usability test, you should do several things beforehand. Firstly write a layout about why you’re running a test in the first place and in what stage of product development you’re going to conduct it.

Now, think about how you’re going to acquire participants, what should be their age, gender, job, etc., and how many do you need?

Then specify the equipment you’ll use to monitor participants. If you’re using session replay software, you can go back to rewatch them whenever you want. 

In the end, think about the scenarios, tasks, and questions. What will they be, and how much time can participants spend on them?

2. Assign Tasks to Your Team Members

Assigning tasks to your team members is one of the most important usability testing best practices You’re just one person, and you can’t do all the job alone. Even if you could, you’d be stressed and will lose focus. So you need some assistants. Assign roles to your team members for note-taking, observing, facilitating, administering, etc. 

3. Choose the Right Metrics

Determining the metrics you’re going to track during the session with users is one of the usability testing best practices you need to consider For example:

  • Subjective metrics include participants’ answers to your questions revolving around their satisfaction, dislikes, and ease of each task. You can also ask them for suggestions to improve your product. 
  • Quantitative metrics based on your purpose include the number of people who completed a task goal, the time they spent on each task, and the errors they faced.

WatchThemLive is an analyzing software that helps gather subjective and quantitative data. It does this by recording visitors’ interactions with your website. Then you can watch these informative replays and see what users like or dislike. For example, you can see at what point users become frustrated and leave your website. Was it because your form had too many fields? Was it because your check-out process was complex? You can see everything! Watch this video and see for yourself: 

Interested? Sign up for FREE and see what’s next!

4. Recruit Participants

Recruiting participants is one of the other usability testing best practices on this list. When recruiting participants, be careful that they represent your target audience. Also, pay attention to their demographics such as country, age, gender, etc., and psychographic segmentation such as beliefs, lifestyle, values, etc.

For recruiting participants, you can ask HR to invite people who are not familiar with your project. Another way is to use remote usability testing tools

5. Conduct a Pilot Test

One of the usability testing best practices that helps you find any functionality problem is conducting a pilot test. This way, you can find any problem with your prototype that might stop participants from completing the task. On top of that, you know how long the test will take and if your scrip is understandable. 

6. Conduct Your Usability Testing

Go for your actual test now! Be there for the participants, answer any questions they had with calmness. Remember not to actually answer their questions; lead them towards their answers. 

Make a comfortable atmosphere so participants can speak up without being scared or embarrassed. Talk to them, so they understand they won’t be hurting your feeling by being honest. 

Asking participants to think out loud is one of the usability testing best practices. Also, Observe their body language and reactions. 

7. Analyze and Report the Results

Analyzing your findings is one of the usability testing best practices. Before implementing any changes to your product, you have to analyze the result. You will find several usability problems during a test. That’s why you need to prioritize the issues. Write a short but comprehensive report backed up by qualitative and quantitative data. Include all the details so if one of your team members wants to conduct the test again, they’ll have access to the information they need. Also, to be completely sure of your results, you can discuss your results with your team and add any missing information. 

8. Take Action

Finally, you’re all ready to take action. Now that you know the usability testing best practices, you can make changes to your product to make it better or complete your prototype to meet customers’ needs. 

What Are the 5 Usability Testing Principals?

Here are the 5 web usability testing principles you need to consider for your next project:

1. Availability 

Availability shows how people can access your website from different devices. This accessibility can be affected by bad hosting and make visitors face some errors. It also includes the broken links on your website. 

2. Clarity

Clarity is the core of your website’s usability. Visitors won’t come to your website unless they have a goal in mind, right? Clarity is the things you do to help them reach their goals faster. Your website’s design, like your navigation, shouldn’t distract users from completing their goals because that makes them leave you unsatisfied. 

3. Learnability

Learning to work with your website shouldn’t be a hassle. It should be what people are already familiar with it.  

If you’re using a new interface, make it as intuitive as possible. Or help people who are visiting your website for the first time by text or visuals. 

4. Credibility 

Let’s say your visitors can find the content they were looking for. Will they purchase a product if they don’t trust you?

Creating credibility is one of the most important usability principles. You can earn people’s trust by a clear about us page, including your contact information along with a phone number and a physical address if you have one. 

Also, add any third-party organization testimonials you’ve ever worked with or the information and number of your social media followers. 

5. Relevancy 

Your content should be engaging, and for that, it should be based on your target audiences’ needs. Try to know them by talking to them and asking what they’re looking for and why they would visit your website. 

An excellent way to find out if your content is engaging or not is using WatchThemLive’s session recordings. You can basically see how all of these principles are working on your website. With their comprehensive session replays, you can understand how people with different devices are using your product. You can also see how they navigate your website, how easy your interface is, and how they engage with your content. 

It’s all you ever need for testing your website’s usability. Sign up and see what’s next!

What Is a Usability Testing Framework? 

A usability testing framework is needed to create your test structure including all the information you might need. 

This framework contains your hypothesis, the questions you want to ask, tasks and scenarios, and questionnaires at the beginning, before, and after the task. It should also include all the information regarding participants and your results backed up by different kinds of data. 

Conclusion 

Usability testing is what you need to conduct during different stages of product development because it shows how easy it is for people to use your product and become loyal customers. 

This article explained usability testing best practices, what usability testing is, its five principles, and its framework. 

Want to start testing your usability now? Start with WatchThemLive’s session replays and see how visitors are using your website. Sign up here and get started! 

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Good luck.

Kimia Rafiee
Kimia Rafiee
Kimia is a content writer at WatchThemLive. She mostly writes about digital marketing, web design, and UI/UX.
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