HOW DOES IT WORK?
Usability testing is performed with a representative cross-section of different user types. The number of users tested depend on the number and variety of different user audiences the client is seeking to target, but typically 3-4 users per main user type are recommended. This allows for the identification of potential patterns/themes in behaviours or need emerge, providing clarity of insight and direction to inform future design change and recommendations. Focused Usability testing may also be nested with user interview sessions too.
User testing can take on a variety of differing formats depending the context and scope of the experience under test. Practical considerations, such as time and client budget availability will have a bearing to play on what form and size the usability test may take.
Usability testing may be:
Moderated: meaning each session is facilitated by a moderator/researcher who interacts directly with the user to ask questions and observer the user first-hand
Unmoderated: meaning each session is pre-scripted with users performing/answering a set of on-screen questions and tasks, recording their verbal responses, interaction and navigation behaviours as they move through the website/digital service.
Moderated tests allow for a more open exploration of user behaviours, needs and preferences. They enable the moderator to explore and adapt their lines of questioning according to a users in session
behaviours and perspectives. Testing within a session can be done on one or two-device types and maybe conducted face-to-face or remotely via screenshare.