What is a usability test and what is its main purpose?


Usability testing, as the name implies, is meant to evaluate the customer's use or experience with your product or service. In other words, through it we can tell if UX (user experience) is satisfactory or not.

Now that you have a sense of how important this subject is, how about we delve deeper into the subject?

What are usability tests?

It is a research technique for the purpose of evaluating the product or service. In this test, people with the profile of your audience are invited to interact with your product while an analyst evaluates the consumer experience.

This technique is commonly applied to sites and functional platforms in order to identify systemic failures or opportunities for improvement. However, it is a research concept that can be applied to any segment. As long as there is the product and the customer, there is experience and opportunity to increase the conversion.

We can cite two types of usability tests that are already applied around the world.

Moderate

Performed with 100% follow-up in specialized laboratories for such. In this type of test, the moderator guides the user through each step of the interaction by asking questions about the process.

Non-moderated

Those that allow users to complete the online test, in which they are free to follow the flow find more intuitive, reporting to the analyst the reason for clicking each button (usually done remotely).

After evaluating the usability criteria, it is possible to come up with three types of failures that can be encountered during these tests. See below.

  • Barrier: if there is something that prevents the purchase of the customer;

  • Obstacle: some failure with which the customer had to learn how to handle to finalize the purchase;

  • Noise: Some aspect that does not affect the completion of the purchase, but that can cause a bad impression to the user.

How to do the usability test?

The tests need to take into account the usual navigation of the site. As customers usually look for the products, how the purchase is completed, among others. It is also important to simulate exceptions.

This means that you have to try to find the not-so-usual ways that visitors can do on the site to find a product. Thus, it is possible to make a complete test and that covers all possible possibilities of error.

Always count on specialized professionals to do this analysis. User Experience Analysts are the experts who understand the habits of the virtual consumer and know, technically, the best ways to objectively evaluate each stage of the customer's experience with the product. In addition, they are able to propose agile solutions to the problem - if any.

Doing this kind of analysis without a professional can lead to several opportunities for improvement not being noticed. Or, it may lead to mistaken measures to correct some unwanted result. Resulting in the drop in the conversion indicators.

To help you, we've separated the main steps below to run a UX test.

Purpose of the product

Have it in hand or create a summary for the purpose of your product - how it should be delivered and how it should impact the customer's life?

Testers

Make a selection of people who have the profile of your consumer audience (the testers). Ideally, they should be people who are not personally involved with the brand and preferably have not yet had an experience with the product.

Test

Follow the testers from the beginning of the navigation in the site, through to the purchase, until the moment they are already using it (when it is a service or platform).

Tool

Follow the testers from the beginning of the navigation in the site, through to the purchase, until the moment they are already using it (when it is a service or platform).

What to evaluate on a usability test?

Some points will be evaluated during the test. It is important to point out that it is possible to adapt them to the reality of your business. However, these topics are extremely relevant to a conclusion about the usability of your product.

Efficiency

It consists of concluding whether the customer can make the purchase. That is, if the button to add the product to the cart does not appear or some step is not working, the site is not effective. It is very important to correct the fault urgently.

Effectiveness

This evaluation should take into consideration if the buying process is fluid, after all, the customer must be able to make the purchase easily, intuitively. If we are talking about a virtual store, for example, the fewer clicks and pages before the finalization of the purchase, the better.

Satisfaction

Here, we evaluate whether your consumer is satisfied when making the purchase and how it interacts with the product. Consider whether and the acquisition was really positive and added to the buyer's life.

Learning

It means evaluating the learning curve of the consumer with the acquired product. If it is easy to understand, it works intuitively and if there is significant variation between users with different degrees of instruction. In addition, it is also assessed whether the productivity of the purchased item changes with time.

Flexibility

This step consists of evaluating different contexts of product usage and various browsers and devices. In this case, the professional responsible for the research will indicate if there were discrepancies or specificities in any of the scenarios.

Why do a usability test?

This evaluation is the only way to identify gaps in the buying process and act on each of them. Having established process and a professional dedicated to analyzing, pointing and solving problems is a way to optimize the resources and improve the performance of your e-commerce or another service.

The importance of this type of analysis is as great as ensuring that your site will be on the air 24 hours a day. The better the customer experience, the greater the likelihood of him making a new purchase and indicating his brand to others; means being attracted to a second purchase.

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