Usability Testing and UX Audit Services
Even if an application performs the expected functions, it can be unattractive and inconvenient for end users and, consequently, unpopular among them.
With 31 years in software development and testing and 18 years in QA consulting, ScienceSoft offers to test how your software products will be received by the target audience. We also advise on the ways to improve a product’s usability to enhance adoption, make your software product more recognizable and associated with your brand and help bring these improvements to reality.
Services We Provide
With profound knowledge of business, technology and UX trends, and experience in multiple industries, we assess how easy and clear your solution is for end users.
The aspects we test:
Navigation and structure: we assess how easy it is to navigate your application and help to identify complex, unclear, and inconvenient navigation components.
Workflows and scenarios: we test how a solution’s usability influences performing basic and advanced tasks, ensure that a user can complete the scenarios doing operations in your application.
Content accessibility: we assess how convenient the arrangement of GUI elements is, whether text and background colors are suitable, check the compliance with such standards as WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) and Section 508, if applicable.
The scope of our usability audit includes reviewing an information architecture; detecting interactive pain points, UI defects and performance issues; and preparing recommendations to improve your application.
The stages of our UX audit
- Investigation of the solution based on app or web analytics to discover the main scenarios of user behavior.
- Checking a solution’s structure and navigation: identifying if an application structure and navigation are logical and clear for end users. Potential problems may be indicated, for example, with web statistics. It helps identify a very high rate of search functionality usage, a high rate of users browsing through a long list of categories before reaching the endpoint and more.
- Detecting the problems with web usability and design based on the following guidelines and principles:
- Usability Heuristics for User Interface Design
- WCAG 2.0
- Web Usability Guidelines
- Feature inspection
As a result, we prepare a detailed audit report with detected usability issues and barriers categorizing them depending on the level of severity and giving recommendations to mitigate and overcome them.
With the team of experienced UX specialists, business analysts and web designers, we go beyond pure usability testing and audit and offer UX services to get important information, which may be unavailable from prior UX design.
Our UX research includes
- User research: we gather problems and needs of your potential target audience through expert review, interviews, surveys, eye movement tracking and other methods and build the models of how users will interact with your product.
- Persona creation: we build the prototypes of potential users with such info as name, bio, background, habits, goals and motivations, and more.
- Scenario creation: we investigate how a persona can solve their problems with your solution basing our ideas on our experience in UX research and testing.
- User journey mapping: we illustrate all possible touchpoints a user comes across while using your application.
- UI prototyping: we create a prototype of your product to illustrate its functionality and logic.
Usability testing as a separate service
We test your software product or just a part of it from the user perspective to detect usability problems and potential adoption barriers.
Usability testing as a part of QA
We test your application from various sides: functionality, performance, compatibility, security – and include usability into this list.
Usability testing as a part of UX research
We are ready to go beyond pure usability testing and offer complete application UX research: from user research and persona creation to usability testing and UI audit with further solution redesign if needed.
Challenges We Solve
No usability design
Successful usability testing services are hardly possible without such context info as a persona and a user journey. We involve our competences in UX research to perform persona creation to model real users with real needs, problems and expectations from software and do customer journey mapping to create the visual representation of the product usage.
Usability requirements vary for different domains
Wide experience in multiple domains (including healthcare, retail, banking, manufacturing, and more) helps us to walk in a customer’s shoes and understand real needs of your target audience and their usage patterns.
Usability requirements vary for different users
Even within one application, the approaches to usability requirements and testing may differ if the application will be used by different groups of users. For example, if it’s a corporate app for employees, we test it’s convenience for various roles across a company reproducing real-life scenarios of solving business problems with the application. Also, we check if UI has the elements that help new users and do not irritate the experienced ones.
Usability testing can be ineffective without reproducing real-life context
We reproduce real-life situations to ensure objective usability testing on a variety of devices in the variety of settings your target audience is likely to use the application. For example, mobile usability testing should consider such specifics as doing tasks on the move with many distractions, lack of access to stable connectivity, various types of data input (touchscreens, voice inputs, and more). As for desktop applications, their usability may be influenced by e.g., illumination in the office or at home, the ability to use a mouse and so on.
With many identified issues, it’s difficult to establish the best order of fixing
Our objective is not only to point at usability problems. We prioritize identified issues defining the degree of their severity to focus on impactful aspects. Also, we establish the most convenient order to fix issues and ensure that the updates to an application’s usability components won’t cause new ones.
Techniques and Methodologies We Use
Expert-based usability testing
A UX researcher has no information about the operations a real user is likely to perform with a tested application and potential sequence of a user’s actions. The researcher assesses usability aspects of your application by comparing them against a set of usability heuristics.
The method is similar to heuristic evaluation, but a UX researcher is given the tasks and scenarios that a user is likely to perform using a tested application.
User-based usability testing
Members of the target audience use a prototype or a ready application to complete scenarios developed by a UX researcher. While performing the scenarios, users are asked to verbalize their thoughts and guesses and explain why they do certain actions in the tested app. A UX researcher processes the testing results and prepares a report.
To get additional user perspective and increase the sample, we also add app usage, web statistics, interviews and surveys to our usability testing and UX research.