Usability Testing

30 November 2016 ‐ 6 min read

So you have a great idea for a mobile application that’ll change the world. Fabulous! Here’s the truth though – even with your amazing photoshop skills and business acumen, it’s going to need usability testing.

What is Usability Testing?

Usability testing is a technique in user-centred design that evaluates a product by testing it on the intended users. It’s the cornerstone of user experience design and an irreplaceable usability practice as it gives direct input into how real users will interact with a product.


Graphic by Justin Case

Why Perform Usability Testing?

The only tried and tested method of it’s kind, Usability Testing identifies UX issues with mobile applications to ensure user expectations are met and the prototype is easy to use. The demand to improve product usability is greater than ever, yet few businesses succeed in accurately measuring the effectiveness of UX efforts; and if you can’t measure it, you won’t be able to manage it.

If you are not testing your product with users early on you have failed already. If you want to understand your users and get actionable insights, 4i's usability team is the only one to work with. Nicholas Rixon, Head of Product at WeChat

How We Do It

When approaching a project we always start with a strategy that aligns with our client’s business needs, as well as their users’ needs. We solve the business requirements using a user-centred approach and an agilemethodology. Before building a product, one needs to understand its context and reason for existence.

Agile methodologies follow an iterative approach to build software rapidly. The software development lifecycle is broken down into smaller iterations which helps to minimise the overall risk, allows the project to adapt to modifications rapidly and maintains the project schedule and budget.

 

 

At 4i we test prototypes to validate our assumptions, and live applications, to improve the experience. We source the users from the identified target market and test the application on these consumers. The users run through scenarios that are relevant to clients’ business goals and strategy, and the interaction is streamed in real time to our boardroom where clients can observe the user interacting with the product. The setup includes two cameras – one to capture the user’s facial expressions and one specially constructed to capture the mobile device. Herman Maritz, Head of Development SSA at OLX

 

 

Too much time gets spent on developing the wrong product. 4i's usability testing highlights what you should focus on. Herman Martiz, Head of Development SSA at OLX

At 4i, we’re proud to be the home of Stellenbosch’s first ever user experience testing laboratory, with a studio that includes a comfortable interview room for testers, cameras and a viewing room for clients. Can we help you improve your app, or assist with developing the very best app you desire? Our UX experts are always happy to hear about new ideas and projects, so drop us a line on hello@4imobile.co.za.