A finished product's usability is defined by the attention paid to its users during its development so as to make it usable. In order to guarantee a product's usability it is essential to know, understand and work with its user.
Your product will be chosen if it rises up to the users' expectations, demands, and if it helps them reach their goals. In a world where we are constantly switching from one task to the other, your goal is to make their journey easier by ensuring the use of your product is intuitive. But ultimately, it is the persons who will use it who will be the judges of its usability.
It is always difficult to admit that a finished product does not fulfil the user's true need, or that it is too complex to handle. It is also important to note that the more involved a team is in the conception, development or marketing of a product, the more difficult it is to recognize the tasks the users will want to accomplish differently or the difficulties they will encounter.
If you are currently at this stage of development, or if you would rather avoid it altogether, it is probably time to make some room for improvement and for the iteration of your process.
There are several methods of research on the user's experience, but usability tests are deemed the most relevant when it comes to thoroughly understanding your users, their feelings towards your product and the use they will make of it.
The goal of usability tests it to make your final product easier to use. Each of the tests you conduct informs your objectives in relation to the adjustments, modifications and improvements that need to be made in the future.
Usability tests are not 'debugging' sessions. They allow you to analyze the users' journey and emotions as they experience your product, as well as the ease – or on the contrary, the difficulty – with which they handle its functionalities. It is consequently essential to resort to those tests during the development phase.
Your actual users are the participants of these tests. During the tests, they use your product to perform the tasks they would perform in a real-life scenario. With the observation and recordings of what they do, say and feel during the tests, you can significantly reduce the bias-effect that most development teams suffer from when it comes to using the product.
The tool that we have designed is here to assist you as you carry out usability tests and to help you understand the participants' gestures, comments and emotions in depth. Because it is backed by Artificial Intelligence, our tool produces full and thorough reports which allow for hassle-free development.
The main objective of these usability tests is to allow you to enhance your product's overall usability, through the collection and subsequent synthesis of the data on the participants' experience during the product handling phase.
This synthesis/compiling will show you if your product:
As you eliminate friction points in the user journey, you not only foster a positive customer relationship, but you also make sure your products and their user experience are perceived as being high-quality in a durable way and across all of your products.
In order to achieve this, there are 4 key principles you need to follow:
If following these principles is part of your objectives, reaching those goals will allow you to minimize the risks of your product/new functionalities being badly received upon release. Their impact will benefit your brand image and will by extension allow you to boost your sales.
The recordings and results history which comes with our tool will allow you to maintain and even enhance your quality standards for your product's future iterations.
Finally, by creating products focused on the user and the use they make of it, you reduce the workload of the product's support service.
Here are the nine rules that you need to follow in order to enhance a product's usability:
An agile methodology : Design / Testing / Development
“Agile” software development refers to a set of methodologies based on an iterative system in which demands and solutions evolve thanks to the collaboration between inter-functional, self-organized teams.
User-focused development is fundamental when it comes to the conception of products. It Is particularly important during the first steps of conception, as with the iterative methodologies. Consequently, it is crucial to adapt the concept to fit the agile methodologies in order to generate the user feedback which will lead to increased usability and, as a result, increased user satisfaction.
Data-driven design is at the basis of the researching phases which happen prior to a product's development. Even though it is massively employed, this approach's fragility is rooted in it being impersonal and limited to the data collected before development. It does not include, from the product's development to its launch, human data provided by actual users.
Putting into place a methodology that allows a development team to collect images, comments and feelings generated by the handling of your product really brings added value to the development process.
Development teams are so familiar with the product they are working with that they lack distance and perspective, which can lead them to regularly miss important or critical issues which the users will then face. These problems unfortunately often persist up to the finished product.
With the platform we offer, the users' emotions and comments are seamlessly implemented in the agile process, thus reducing the often too great amount of time, energy and money alloted to code or functionalities refactoring.
How to Conduct Usability Studies - NNGroup
How to Plan, Design, and Conduct Effective Tests - Jeff Rubin, Dana Chisnell
A Practical Guide to Usability Testing - Joseph Dumas, Janice Redish
The Design of Everyday Things - Don Norman
Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience - Mihaly Csikszentmihaly