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What is usability testing, and what are its benefits?

Designing the best UX for your application is crucial for your app’s success. After all, it is supposed to serve your clients with interesting features and help them achieve their goals with the least possible effort. In short, it needs to be easy to use. You can leverage usability testing to make sure that your application’s user does not encounter any unpleasant problems.

Imagine you developed an application. It applies most modern technologies and business solutions, has nice features and a unique design. In other words, it seems to be perfect. You are introducing it to the market, you have first customers and then… It doesn’t gain popularity, and the project that was supposed to be a big success becomes a huge failure. Why? Low usability level is one of the main reasons why users quickly lose interest in applications. Fortunately, you can ensure that your application is comfortable for your potential users.

High-quality business solution — things to consider 

There are plenty of things to consider before investing in business software. If you want to make sure that your digital product has a chance to conquer the market, you need to focus on three main challenges: 

  • developing all features that are indispensable for the type of software you are building,
  • ensuring high performance of your business solution,
  • designing the best UX and making your application easy-to-use.

The first step is to come up with core features for your tool and to develop them. After all, who needs marketing software that doesn’t allow you to manage social media campaigns, or recruitment software that doesn’t make recruiting easier? Then, your developers need to choose the best technology to build your solution and make it fast and powerful. One of the last stages of development is testing. 

You can test many aspects of your application — its functionality, performance, etc. You should not forget, however, to test its usability too. Remember that the most advanced solutions and features will not impress your customers if they are not able to use them efficiently. In the nutshell, your application needs to have the right features, be performative, and easy-to-use.

Website, application, and software testing — why you shouldn’t skip this step 

Every digital product requires testing. No matter if you develop a simple website or comprehensive business software. Of course, testing an application with only a few features will be easier and less time-consuming. Still, you need to check if the entire content displays properly and that your website or web application responds to users’ actions as planned. Potentially small errors can significantly reduce your digital product’s business potential. 

Digital products testing trends you should know

Did you know that Agile or Agile-like models are most common in software development testing? According to PractiTest annual reports, as many as 92% of companies chose such an approach in 2021 and the number is growing (89% in 2020 and 87% in 2019). Numerous companies also engage people other than professional testers in the process (e.g. end-users).

It is even more important for you to learn more about testing, as different types of tests can be performed on your application. Checking if it runs properly is a basic process in all development projects, but ensuring it is a high-quality solution for business is not an easy task. In the course of usability testing, you can learn if customers find your application pleasant and easy to use.

The purpose of usability testing

Usability testing enables the development team to assess the product’s ease of use and functionality. As this step’s goal is mostly to validate user experience it requires engaging actual people, hence, it cannot be automated and performed by machines. The development team can test within the team, but it is highly recommended to invite potential end-users to participate in the process, as it is their satisfaction that it is crucial for the success of your application. 

There is hardly one way to carry out usability testing. In each case, the process looks different. It may be challenging, as testers need to plan it first. If users asked for their opinion are capable of interacting with your digital product with ease and without unnecessary frustration, you are on the way to developing high quality, usable application. If they encounter some problems, don’t panic — that is exactly the reason why you are conducting the tests. Listen to the potential users you cooperate with during testing very carefully. Learn as much as you can about the nature of the problems and find the way to fix them and improve your product before releasing it to the general public.

The benefits of carrying out usability tests 

Usability testing can provide you with information about the exact problems your users may encounter while using your application or website, although applying such a process to your digital product has many more advantages. 

You learn more about user expectations 

If you decide to invite your potential users to participate in usability testing, you’ll gain an opportunity to learn their actual needs and expectations. It provides a chance not only to fix obvious problems but also to improve your product based on additional customer feedback. Clients can do much more than just point out the difficulties. They can advise you on the features your product lacks at the moment or functionalities that would make it more attractive. After learning their expectations, you can also leverage this knowledge in your future projects.

You can fix potential UX issues before the product is released 

Fixing bugs, implementing new features, and modifying your software after its release is time-consuming, not to mention that you have only one chance to make a great first impression. Ensuring that everything is in order before introducing your business solution to the market is the best you can do to build a professional image of your brand. 

You can improve your company’s reputation 

Releasing a complicated and unintuitive product often results in a bad user experience, and a bad user experience can hurt your organization’s reputation. Even if, in time, you provide your clients with updates, patches, or new versions of the software, it may be too late to keep their interest or to change their opinion regarding your brand. The best solution is to make sure that your product is easy-to-use and functional before you release it.

You gain a competitive advantage over your competition

Those who don’t test for usability will probably be left behind by modern companies that value their customer’s opinions. Client awareness is rising. Consumers want their opinion to be heard and leveraged by business solutions providers. Being devoted to fulfilling users’ needs will gain you, loyal customers. They know what they need daily. Smart entrepreneurs listen to their clients.

How to perform usability tests?

As already mentioned, all usability tests have the same goal — making sure that software, website, or application is fully functional and easy-to-use for the client, yet the process of testing can be unique for each company or product. You have to plan it according to your individual needs. It is very important to tailor your tests to the kind of digital product you want to release. Based on that, you choose what features and processes should be tested and who your target audience is. You don’t want to test the usability of your business software with individuals who do not run a business of their own or invite those who don’t use social media to advise you on your social platform UX, right? 
Preparing and performing usability tests is not easy and requires some experience. If you are not sure how to do it on your own, we will be happy to advise you or help you plan it. Contact us to learn more.


cto - Chris Gibas

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