UX Research & User Testing

Testing Usability

Paul Boag

Paul Boag

UX Research & User Testing

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The "Testing Usability" Lesson is part of the full, UX Research & User Testing course featured in this preview video. Here's what you'd learn in this lesson:

Paul discusses the importance of testing usability on mock-ups and how it can address stakeholder concerns and catch issues early. He introduces different options for testing usability, including the "five-second" test and the "first click" test. He also mentions the possibility of using eye-tracking tools, such as RealEye or eye-tracking simulation software, to gain insights into where people will look at a design.


Transcript from the "Testing Usability" Lesson

>> Then there's usability, right? We need to test usability on our mock up as well. And believe it or not, even with a static mock up, you can test usability, right? First of all, why are we testing usability should be kind of obvious, but in particular, I use it as an opportunity to address concerns from stakeholders, right?

So often they'll look at a design mock-up and they'll go, I don't understand how the carousel will work or whatever their problem is, and so we can run a test to address that concern. Or for catching issues early, there might be something that we just not aware of, and we if we can catch it even on a design mock-up that's really cool and also it leads to better products of this.

Who do we test with here? Well, now, we're talking about usability, we can use anybody, friends and family. Again, anybody with the same physical or cognitive kind of capacities as our target audience of Fair Game just not anybody from within the business. And our options to testing usability believe or not, are the 5-second test again.

We can use that again to see whether people remember the right elements on the page. So by showing them the design for 5 seconds we can assess whether they got it, whether they understood what it was about. Did they see a particular element? If they cuz a stakeholder is often worried, they didn't see the call to action or whatever.

And what stood out most on the page. But actually the one I most like using when it comes to usability, is the first click test. Right, now, if you remember from when we were talking about information architecture, I said that if a user gets the first click correct, they've got an 87% chance of completing an action correctly, as opposed to a 46% chance if they get the first click wrong.

So, in other words, with just a static mockup, you can ask people to say where they would clean. We were talking about this some way. So a first click test is a brilliant way of establishing whether people will be able to navigate even from a single mock up like a homepage, right?

Really easy to do. You write your question where would you click to do X, whatever the area of concern is, you upload your mockup. And they basically see the mockup like that. And they click anywhere they want to on the mockup. So if you said, how would you log in?

They click that log in. They would click on the log in button. It wouldn't do anything cuz it's just a mockup, but that would record as a click, and then you'd get results back, that looks something like that, where you can see everybody's clicking on that particular fact, isn't the login buttons?

It's the sign up button there? But anyway, [LAUGH] I'm not clicking in the same place, good. We know we're doing a good job, right? Really simple, results back, pretty much instantaneous. Now, you can string all of these together if you want to. They're all on the same platform, so you can do a first click, a semantic differential survey, a preference survey, or any of them you want.

Just put them all together, send them all out in one go, job done. Incredibly powerful, because it'll just cut through all the debate and the discussion with hard facts. If you wanna go for extra brownie points and really impress people if the semantic differential survey didn't blow their minds, what about eye tracking, right?

Now you think, no way, no way. Eye tracking, now we're in big bucks territory. You've got to have headsets, it's got to be all fancy. Actually not these days. You can use a tool called RealEye, which is capable of doing eye tracking with nothing more than your webcam, right?

Amazing, never used it. [LAUGH] cuz I've never quite justified using eye tracking. But there is a spin-off thing and this is. I call this a spell checker for designers, right? You know how your spell checker sometimes gets it wrong, right? But it's useful enough to be worth doing.

There is something called eye tracking simulation, and it is basically software that's taken thousands of hours of eye-tracking studies and used AI, machine learning, blah, blah, blah, to predict to an, I think it's to a 90% accuracy where people will look on design, right? And so what you can do, is you can take your mockup, you can upload it, and it will give you a heat map like the one you can see on the screen telling you where people will look on the page.

An amazing tool for quickly putting in front of stakeholders and going, look, here is evidence that people are gonna look at the right things on the page, right? Now, is it perfect? No, it's not. Is it really cheap? Yes, it is, $19 a month, the last time I looked, right?

So, one month of it, and you can check your design, and It's really that I don't always pay attention to it sometimes I upload the graphic and go. Well I don't really like those results. So I don't know whether I'm gonna choose not to believe them and I don't show them to the client.

If obviously the results backup everything that I've said and done then it gets shown to the client, but I'm fickle like that. But yeah, It's another nice thing to have in your arsenal. The tool that I'm using is tension insights. If you wanna have give it a go, and it will predict where people look.

So this is really gold dust. Being able to get designed sign off is often the trickiest part of the process. And having some lightweight tests that you can quickly pass by people to just get them on board. Especially if you are looking at a changing brand, and that kind of brand identity stuff.

This is the point where you are setting that brand identity, and so this is the point where you really need to kind of buckle down and get some data behind you

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