In usability testing basically the testers tests the ease with which the user interfaces can be used. It tests that whether the application or the product built is user-friendly or not.
- Usability Testing is a black box testing technique.
- Usability testing also reveals whether users feel comfortable with your application or Web site according to different parameters – the flow, navigation and layout, speed and content – especially in comparison to prior or similar applications.
- Usability Testing tests the following features of the software.
— How easy it is to use the software.
— How easy it is to learn the software.
— How convenient is the software to end user.
Usability testing includes the following five components:
- Learnability: How easy is it for users to accomplish basic tasks the first time they encounter the design?
- Efficiency: How fast can experienced users accomplish tasks?
- Memorability: When users return to the design after a period of not using it, does the user remember enough to use it effectively the next time, or does the user have to start over again learning everything?
- Errors: How many errors do users make, how severe are these errors and how easily can they recover from the errors?
- Satisfaction: How much does the user like using the system?
Benefits of usability testing to the end user or the customer:
— Better quality software
— Software is easier to use
— Software is more readily accepted by users
— Shortens the learning curve for new users
Advantages of usability testing:
- Usability test can be modified to cover many other types of testing such as functional testing, system integration testing, unit testing, smoke testing etc.
- Usability testing can be very economical if planned properly, yet highly effective and beneficial.
- If proper resources (experienced and creative testers) are used, usability test can help in fixing all the problems that user may face even before the system is finally released to the user. This may result in better performance and a standard system.
- Usability testing can help in discovering potential bugs and potholes in the system which generally are not visible to developers and even escape the other type of testing.
Usability testing is a very wide area of testing and it needs fairly high level of understanding of this field along with creative mind. People involved in the usability testing are required to possess skills like patience, ability to listen to the suggestions, openness to welcome any idea, and the most important of them all is that they should have good observation skills to spot and fix the issues or problems.