Welcome to time travel! Usability testing transports your customers and stakeholders to a future in which your product or system exists, so you can see how people will use it and react to it. You'll see the problems people will have with your product or website so you can fix them before you launch.
What is Usability Testing?
In a usability test we ask people to carry out real tasks with a product or system and we record whether or not they are successful. The aim is to collect reliable behavioral data to validate the team's learning, inform course corrections and improve the design.
Design is an iterative process of testing, redesigning and retesting, moving ever closer to an optimal fit to your target users' goals, needs, abilities and experience. Usability testing gives you objective and verifiable evidence about what works and what doesn't, and not just opinions about what people like or prefer. Early usability testing will help you avoid committing major resources to the wrong design.
Our approach to Usability Testing
We follow the ISO 9241 standard for usability and our approach is scalable so testing will not slow down your development cycle. We identify your target users and their goals, then we write task scenarios. We use a 'think aloud' technique proven to expose the user's mental model and find the disconnects between how your product works and how people expect it to work. These are your design opportunities.
Our usability test labs are in downtown Chicago and in Deerfield and Oakbrook, Illinois. The labs have observation rooms so that you can watch your product being tested. We also test in people's homes or places of work, especially if the surrounding environment can affect performance, and we can conduct usability tests right in your own neighborhood – or even in your own office facility – no matter where you are in the USA.
How Usable is Your Design?
Can you answer that question? Many companies can’t. How about these questions:
- Is your product usability improving over time?
- Are your products more usable than the competition?
- How do you know when a product is usable enough?
There is only one way to answer these questions. With numbers. You must measure usability. Guesswork and seat of the pants methods are not going to get you there. Metrics are the language of business.
Blueprint can help you measure the usability of your products, software and websites.
Find out how we helped a major healthcare company avoid launching a website that was too difficult for people to use.