Usability Testing

Usability testing is an empirical method of measuring a website’s ease-of-use. It involves bringing representative users into the usability lab and asking them to complete a series of tasks with the website. Observational, user satisfaction, and performance data are collected, summarized, and used as the basis for design recommendations.

The SURL team works with the client to develop representative task scenarios. These would be the common tasks users would attempt on the site. SURL recruits participants from the Wichita area and pays them for their participation. Testing is conducted with one or two users at a time in the SURL usability lab. In general, 6-8 participants per user group are recruited. A user group is defined as a population of users that have common background, capabilities, and goals. For example, a site may be targeted towards both a naive and professional audience. In such a case, we may run 6-8 users from each population. Participants in the usability test are encouraged to ‘think aloud’ during testing so that their thought processes can be monitored. Participant feedback and objective data is collected using MoraeTM logging software and online questionnaires. Additional measures may also be requested by the client.

The data gathered in a usability test is both objective and subjective:

  • success in completing each task
  • time to complete tasks
  • number of links/steps to complete tasks
  • whether user became “lost”
  • user perceptions of ease of use and appeal
  • usefulness of the information on your site
  • user’s attraction to the site
  • overall user satisfaction with the site

Results from the usability test are summarized in a usability test report. The report includes general recommendations and specific task feedback. Digital highlight clips are also available. The extent of your website’s evaluation will depend on the degree of examination you choose. Prices will vary accordingly.

For more information, please contact us.

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