Usability testing

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Usability testing is a process used to assess a product by testing it on users. This can be seen as an irreplaceable practical use, since it gives direct input on the number of real users use the process. [1] This is in contrast to the ease of use inspection methods where experts use different methods to assess a user interface without user involvement.Usability testing focuses on measuring the ability of a product made by man to accomplish its purpose. Examples of goods that benefit from usability testing are web-sites or web applications, computer interfaces,documents or devices. Usability testing measures the usability, or ease of use of a specific object or set of objects,Whereas in general studies of human-computer interaction attempt to formulate universal principles.

History of usability testing:
One of Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) PARC wrote that employees use usability testing to generate comprehensive Xerox Star, introduced in 1981. [2] Only about 25,000 were sold, leading plenty of to think about the Xerox Star five commercial failure.The preview of Google Book Search, the interior Intuit book says (page 22, 1984), "... in the first instance of the Usability who later became the industry standard practice, LeFevre hired street people \. and dated their Kwik-Chek (Quicken) using a stopwatch. After each check \. programmers worked to improve schedule. "[3]), Scott Cook, Intuit co-founder, said," \. they did usability testing in 1984, four years before somebody Other \. that there is a giant difference between making and promotion people to do as part of its \. design \. a giant difference between doing and having to be the core of what the engineers are focused on [4].Cook did not have knowledge of the PARC work, but sounds more like they knew it only related to design promotion Unlike the re-engineering and engineering decisions based on direct user input. In any case, at the time of this Google seems to have written usability testing projects between work PARC and Quicken, but after plenty of Quicken became a top commercial seller.

Goals of usability testing:
Usability testing is a black-box testing method. The aim is to observe people using the product to discover errors & areas for improvement. Usability testing generally involves measuring how well check subjects respond in five areas: efficiency, accuracy, memory, & emotional response. The results of the first check may be treated as a baseline or control measurements, all subsequent tests can be compared with the baseline to indicate improvement.
• Performance - How long & how lots of steps are necessary for people to perform basic tasks? (For
example, find something to buy, generate a new account, & on the subject.)
• Accuracy - How lots of people make mistakes? (& they were fatal or recoverable with the right
• Recall - What is the person recall afterward or after periods of non use?
• The emotional response - How a person feels about done tasks? Is the person assertive, stressed?
The user recommend this technique to a mate?

What usability testing is not:
Simply gathering opinions on an object or document is the market research than usability testing. Usability testing is systematic observation, under controlled conditions to decide how people can use the product than showing users a rough draft & asking, "Do you understand that?" Usability testing involves looking people trying to use something for its intended purpose. For example, when instructed to mounting evidence of a toy,the check subjects should be given instructions & a box of parts. Drafting instructions, the quality of the artwork, & the toy design, influence the assembly method.

The creation of a usability check involves carefully generating a scenario, or a realistic situation in which the person who makes a list of tasks using the product tested while observers watch and take notes. Several check instruments other as script instructions, paper prototypes and pre-and post-test questionnaires are also used to collect information onthe product being tested. For example, to check the function of insertion of an email program, a scenario report a situation where a person needs to send an email attachment, and ask them to over out this task.The aim is to observe how people act in a realistic way so that developers can see the problem areas and what People like. Popular techniques used to collect information during a usability check include thinking aloud protocol and eye monitoring.

Hallway testing:
Hall of evidence (or the hallway usability testing) is a specific methodology of usability testing program. In lieu of using an in-house group training of testers, one or one people at random, indicative of a representative sample of finish users,identified in testing of program (either an application, web-site, etc), the name of the process relates to the fact that examiners should be random people passing by in the hallway. The theory, adopted by Jakob Nielsen'sresearch, is that 95% of usability problems can be discovered using this process.

Remote testing:
Remote usability testing (also known as a moderator or asynchronous usability testing) involves the use of a specially modified online survey, which allows the quantification of user testing studies, providing the ability to generate giant sample sizes. Furthermore, this type of user testing also provides an opportunity for the segment Feedback by demographic, attitudinal and behavioral. The tests were carried out in the user's own environment (in lieu of labs) to assist more realistic simulation of hypothesis tests of life. This approach also provides a vehicle to easily request feedback from users in remote areas.

How many users to test?:
In the 1990s, Jakob Nielsen, a researcher at the time of Sun Micro systems, popularized the concept of using numerous tiny usability tests typically test-five subjects each at different stages of development method. Their argument is that, one time it is found that one or two people are confused by the homepage, small is learned from watching more people suffer through the same flawed design. "Development of usability tests are a waste of resources. The best results come from testing no over 5 users and tiny run to check as you can pay. "2 [6]. Nielsen published his research and later coined the term heuristic evaluation.The claim of "five users is enough" was later described by a mathematical model [7] that states the proportion of the problems discovered U
where p is the probability that an individual identify a specific problem and n the number of subjects (or check sessions). This model is shown as a graphic asymptotic to the actual number of existing problems (see Figure below).

The Nielsen research subsequent claim has been challenged with impatience, both empirical evidence 3 [8] and more advanced mathematical models [9]. Seven key challenges for this are: (1) ease of use as it relates to the specific set of users as a small sample is unlikely to be representative of the total population for the information as small the sample is more likely to reflect the group shows that the population that can represent and (2) Not all usability
problem is equally easy to detect. Problems difficult to move to slow the overall technique. In these circumstances, the progress of the technique is much shallower than expected by Nielsen / Landauer formula [10].Most researchers and practitioners now agree that although the check users 5 is better than not at all tests, a sample of larger than five years is needed to detect a satisfactory number of usability problems.

Think aloud protocol:
Thinking aloud protocol (or protocols of thinking aloud, or TAP) is a process used to collect information in usability testing in the design and product development in psychology as well as a wide range of social sciences (eg, reading, writing and translation research process). The thinking aloud process was developed by Mark Lewis, while they was at IBM, and explains Focused on the task of user interface design: A Practical Introduction by C. Lewis, J. Rieman. The process was perfected by Ericsson and Simon (1980, 1987, 1993).Think aloud protocols involve participants to think aloud as they are conducting a series of specific tasks. Users are asked to say what you are looking, think, act and feel as they go about their tasks. This allows observers to see first hand the process of performing the task (and not only its final product). Observers in this check are asked to objectively take notes of what users say without trying to interpret their actions and words. Testing sessions are often audio and video recorded so that developers can return and refer to what participants
did and how they reacted. The objective of this process is to make explicit what is implicitly present in subjects can perform a specific task.
A related information, but slightly different process of collection is the talk aloud protocol. This means only the participants describing the action, but no explanation. This process is thought about more objective in which participants basically document how they complete a task than interpret or justify their actions (seeclassical works by Ericsson and Simon).

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