Industry best practice shows that successful products are tested on the target audience.
Evaluations act as a safety check and provide an opportunity for improvement before the product or service is released. This allows for brand experience from the purchase point or “out of box” and will help determine packaging and support.
Heuristic (Expert) Evaluation
This evaluation focuses on identifying problems associated with the user interface. An expert evaluation or heuristic evaluation is an industry standard whereby software is checked against a set of rules (heuristics) by experts who understand the usability principles set down by the industry. We categorise and describe the problems and provide recommendations for redesign.
Usability testing allows you to gather feedback on how target customers use and feel about your product or website. You receive direct input on the ease of use and the perceived value of the product.
During the test, the target customer is asked to complete tasks unaided, which allows us to observe how they use the product. Both quantitative data, as in how many test participants encountered the same problem, along with qualitative data like the aesthetics and trust level of the product are collected.
Usability testing includes:
- Recruiting of test subjects; often devising a screener questionnaire for selecting test participants that match your customers’ profile.
- Organising the test logistics, test locations and/or setting up software for remote testing.
- Digital recording of participant’s face, screen activity and audio for analysis.
- Data analysis and reporting in a format that suits your development process.
Focus groups are a qualitative research technique where a group of target customers are asked to interact or give feedback on a product or service. This gives group input and debate about the value of features of a product or service.
It tends to identify trends in thinking and bears out debate on critical needs. These focus groups need prototypes and skilled moderators.