The world of user experience has grown tremendously in the past ten years. And with that comes a slew of terms that people don't necessarily understand the differences between. I wanted to take a moment to clarify a couple of testing terms that you may be hearing about lately.
Usability testing is part of the user-centered design methodology which evaluates a product by testing it on users. This involves systematic observation under controlled conditions with a moderator. Are they finding what they want, when they want it?
Testing is conducted in order to discover if users are using the product as intended. Are they interacting in ways the design team didn't anticipate?
Usability testing is not a focus group.
⟴ Gives direct input on how real users use the product.
UAT (User Acceptance Testing)
UAT is also part of the user-centered design methodology which formally tests out the success and failure flows, user interactions, and layouts/design from a user point of view. This is done upon code complete and before going live.
It ensures the solution works for the user.
UAT is not system testing.
⟴ Tests what has been designed to ensure the solution works.
A form of qualitative research in which people are asked about perceptions, opinions, beliefs, and attitudes toward a product in a group setting.
Focus groups are performed before any design work has started.
⟴ Beneficial for brainstorming ideas.
Developing a framework for testing to ensure the best user experience takes time, but we are on the way. In the next couple of months we will be conducting usability testing on one of our Icon video systems to discover what we can do to make things even better. Stay tuned to see what we learn and what we will be doing with the results!
In the meantime, check out one of our latest improvements on the Call Me page.