usability testing is an important part of our design process. With mobile applications, screen space is limited and you want to ensure that the user can quickly reach his or her goal. The researcher (often a UI designer) researches, analyzes and reflects on the behavior of the user. He gives the user tasks to perform to find out how intuitive and user-friendly the design of the app is. Sometimes a designer can overlook simple things that can be confusing for the user. These can vary from small elements to large user flows. In this blog post we explain everything about it and give some examples.

When you are one app develops and later on the market, you want to be sure that the app is really user-friendly. The sooner you solve user problems, the more time and money you can save. In addition, with usability testing you can also find out how attractive the user finds your design and how much pleasure they get from using your app. Usability testing therefore not only gives you insight into the user-friendliness, but also into the user experience in general. Finally, usability testing gives you insight into the thinking and behavior of your user. This depends, among other things, on their age and profession, and as a designer you cannot always put yourself in that position. However, this knowledge can help you organize your app and also give you an indication of the elements you need to add to it.

How does usability testing work?

Usability testing can be performed in several ways. In any case, you need a user, a number of tasks that you have him or her perform and someone who administers the test. The user can vary from someone who already has a lot of experience with your app to someone who has never used it before. The choice you make here depends on what you want to know about your app. You will benefit most from choosing a user from your target audience, as this will give you the most insight into how the app will ultimately be used. It can give even more insight to perform usability testing with multiple users, this allows you to find out which problems come back most often and are therefore essential to solve.

The tasks you let the user perform are tasks that your users will perform in real life. These can be specific but also very broad. It is important to pay attention to the way you word these tasks. Wrong wording can cause the user to misunderstand the task. On the other hand, the wording can also ensure that the user already knows how to perform the task, while your goal is to find out how the user would perform this task himself.

The person conducting the usability test gives the user the tasks to perform and helps the user if they have questions. This person also makes notes or records the usability test, so that the data can be used later to make any adjustments to the design of the app.

It can also be useful to conduct an interview during or after the usability test. This provides qualitative insight into the opinion that the user has formed about the app. Users can still mention things that did not come up during the usability test. In addition, you can go deeper into the choices that the user made for certain tasks and find out what their thinking was.

Examples of usability testing

It is therefore possible that small changes in your design have a major impact on the user-friendliness of your app. An example of this was the addition of tooltips in the screen below. During usability testing, a user indicated that he missed this because he was used to other web apps that tooltips were included. This addition has only a small impact on the design, but it does increase user-friendliness.

Another example is shown below. During the same test, users indicated that they had no good indication of how long the process they were waiting for was taking. By turning this spinner into a progression circle, this problem was solved with minimal changes to the design. These are just two examples of the many tests we have conducted.

Usability testing for your app

We have already learned many valuable lessons through usability testing. Do you also want to find out how you can improve the user-friendliness of your app? Contact us and let's talk about it together. 

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