In one of my previous posts, 6 Dimensions to measure usability, I explained what is usability and why it’s important to measure. 

But… 

More often than not, the budget wouldn’t allow it or the project timeline is just too tight. 

Usability testing then is put in a second priority. Worse, it could be forgotten.

… and so, I have decided to share with you 7 reasons you should conduct usability testing.

Why conduct usability testing?

  1. You will find problems you didn’t see before. No matter how many times you looked at the design, no matter how many times you tried to put yourself in the “customer’s shoes.”
  2. You might uncover features you haven’t thought of before. 
  3. You will know what is unnecessary and you will remove it. (Read: 3 Product design principles that work for every customer) 
  4. You will get an unbiased view of the product’s usability. Real users are not emotionally attached to the design and will give you the truth right to your face.
  5. You will get feedback on the user’s expectations, without how it will implicate the budget, the back-end processes, or the management plans.
  6. You will get confirmation on the design direction and learn if it’s really solving a customer’s problem.
  7. You will learn if it’s usable, without error, and doesn’t cause any errors. 

Usability testing helps you uncover errors before you go to the market. If you want to “save” time and go to market without usability testing, you should be well aware that it could cost you a lot. 

And the best part? … is the answer to, “How many usability tests should you conduct?”

You don’t have to conduct hundreds of usability tests. 

According to Jakob Nielsen, Ph.D. and User Advocate and principal of the Nielsen Norman Group which he co-founded with Dr. Donald A. Norman, five usability tests with real users are sufficient.

Usability is the heart of the user experience, and remember…

If the users can’t use your product, they won’t. 

It is that simple.

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