Friday 7 October 2011 - Filed under Usability News
There is a misconception going around at the moment that Usability Testing is a complicated and expensive analysis. It’s no surprise though. The industry has gotten carried away.
After all usability testing 10 years ago was widely tipped to replace traditional market research as the way to design and create the most usable websites possible. I mean there’s no doubt that when you have a great user experience on a website the chances are there was a design team behind it making make or break decisions about the design and implementation of a site. The decisions they make will be based on usability data they have gathered.
Usability Testing allows you to make the intelligent and confident decisions for your web presence. By User Testing companies and clients can make the most informed decisions about what works and what doesn’t.
So what do I mean by Usability test? Well you may be picturing a lab environment with flashcards and biometrics sensors plugged in to the users. This perception of User Testing is a very formal one, and though it does happen it forms less than 10% of overall usability tests that are carried out worldwide. Why? Well the cost is quite prohibitive to all except large corporations with huge usability testing budgets and also that recent research would indicate that results and conclusions made from this are not likely to be too different from more cost effective and convenient Testing user analysis’s.
So what forms the other 90%? Well there’s many methods available but in recent years most of the market has become saturated with low quality user testing products that are overpriced and difficult to extract data from. The bulk of which involve clients commissioning companies to provide You Tube style videos of users using their website and giving an opinion. Thats it. These videos average between $30 and $50 per video and you don’t have to be a usability expert to know that any meaningful conclusions will require far more than one or two Testing User participants.
Of course theses products have there place in the market but the research and feedback from Testing User clients indicates that both large and small businesses have been crying out for a user testing analysis that is both comprehensive and affordable. Rightly so. Time and time again we hear from large blue chip organisations who don’t want to pay the astronomical costs associated with lab usability testing but then have little choice other than User Testing videos as a means to connect with and test their users. On the other hand the feedback we get from small companies and home businesses is that in the past Usability Testing has been completely impractical for their business. Both from a cost perspective and from a quality of results perspective.
As we know Usability Testing by its nature can ultimately only make educated and informed conclusions. No usability method is 100% proven. With this revelation and the feedback from business the expectations for Usability Testing have never been more clear. A usability analysis which is both cost effective and comprehensive. Clients should have the data and findings presented to them in a professional way which allows for further analysis focussing on areas of concern that Testing users will identify. Why should comprehensive User Testing only be available to large businesses? Why should large businesses settle for video user testing as the only means to connect with their user base? Why should the client have to extract the usability data themselves? Why should they write blanche cheques to companies claiming to have the one soloution to all their usability concerns?
Here at Testing Users we believe in changing the way Usability Testing is conducted. Both in the way it is analyzed and presented the Testing User analysis has achieved this. A comprehensive document which arrives to you presentation and board room ready, we analyze the data so you don’t have to. From a cost perspective we think you will agree $125 for a 30 plus page report has little to envy from neither a few user videos or the findings of an expensive controlled lab test. From a quality perspective we analyze the usability metrics which address as many of your business concerns as possible. The findings are demonstrated using both text and graphics with the areas for concern or improvement clearly emphasized.
2011-10-07 » admin