Usability testing

Definition

Testing the ease with which users can learn and use a product.

[Source: BCS]

Comment

Performing usability testing ensures that the system works as well as reasonably possible prior to shipment. It can be performed at a variety of times during the product development lifecycle including immediately after a prototype has been created and in parallel with the later functional test campaigns.

Usability testing is a huge area. The amount of testing needs to be carefully matched to the perceived level of benefits. If you don’t do usability testing the system will not be usable by the customers or will not be intuitive to use. The extra cost of having a difficult-to-use system may be shown in additional support costs and might outweigh the costs of performing additional usability testing.

Usability testing is a key component of User-centred design, research and strategy.

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