Types of Usability Testing in Software Engineering


Today, users look for apps with easy navigation and the finest features. Hence, when an organization designs a software app, they often perform different types of usability testing in software engineering to make the app easier to use. 

Not to mention! What stands out in usability testing is that it involves users instead of testers to perform the testing. As a result, a software company can assign testing tasks to the target end-users. Here, these target users will use the software product and find potential issues that hinder the app’s functionality. 

Today, every company implements this test based on their software requirements and outcomes. So, if you are one of the companies looking for an ideal guide to make your way to effective usability testing, our blog will help you! At the end of the blog, you will better understand the types of usability testing in software engineering, its benefits, and its core stages. Let us begin!

In what way does usability testing help?

Usability testing is a testing approach that focuses on how an app performs for real users in the real world. Here, the end-users act as testers to expose app design defects and functionality defects. Put simply, the owners, with their critical eyes, assess the app and look for problems that testing specialists could miss out on. 

Additionally, they are going to point out exactly what hinders the usability of the app. As an outcome, in the long run, these experts not only download the user’s perspective on the software product but tend to boost the quality of it before it hits the marketplace. Thus, precisely what occurs in usability testing? We are going to guide you.

While generally, there are various kinds of usability testing methods, these kinds stick to exactly the same design. That suggests the users are going to analyze the app and find out if it performs all of the things with ease. 

Then, the users are going to report it to the testing and development staff, who will make changes depending on the user feedback. In a nutshell, with the aid of usability testing, software program specialists may –

  • Understand user preferences.
  • Evaluate the app’s accessibility and usefulness.
  • Identify issues in the software functionality and performance.
  • Improve features and designs.

Today, let us consider the primary key types of usability testing in software engineering for greater understanding. Keep reading.

Which are the top usability testing methods?

We know there is an increasing number of mobile apps and software products in the digital market. However, per statistics, 25% of mobile apps are used only once after download. Hence, it is high time to assume these apps have bad user experience and designs. To our relief, we can avoid poor user experience through well-managed usability testing methods. 

So, let’s look into the core types of usability testing in software engineering: 

  • Moderated usability testing

Moderated usability testing takes place under the supervision of a trained software tester. This tester guides the users through the test. Here, the testers will answer the users’ queries and ask the users follow-up questions for more information. Besides, this test takes place in a live session where the user and tester converse in person or remotely.

When to Use a Moderated Usability Test?

  • During the initial phase of SDLC, get user reactions and suggestions.
  • To test complicated software products.
  • To understand the target audience’s preferences and expectations.
  • Unmoderated usability testing

Unlike moderated usability testing, unmoderated testing takes place in the absence of a moderator or software tester. Besides, this is one of the quickest and cheapest types of usability testing in software engineering. Here, the users will conduct the test on their own devices to assess the app and complete the tasks alone. 

When to Use an Unmoderated Usability Test?

  • To get multiple responses from numerous users in a short time.
  • To get the behavior patterns of the target audience.
  • When on a low development budget.
  • Lab usability testing

As the name suggests, lab usability testing, among the several types of usability testing in software engineering, involves participating users inside a testing lab. Here, the moderator will observe and ask users questions when they perform tasks on the computer or mobile device. Hence, at the end of the testing, the development team will get insights to improve their software product. 

When to Use a Lab Usability Test?

  • For in-depth and extensive feedback from users.
  • To make the app more user-centric.
  •  Guerilla usability testing

This is one of the effective types of usability testing in software engineering. It involves picking users from random places to perform usability testing in exchange for a small gift or incentive. Further, this test only lasts between 10-15 minutes. 

When to Use a Guerilla Usability Test?

  • To get quick responses, a low-cost testing method.
  • To get finely-tuned audience feedback.

How important is usability testing among all other forms?

A business can maximize its profit if it can serve its customers effectively. As per Forbes stats, each one-dollar investment in consumer experience provides a hundred bucks in return. That suggests a business will get an ROI of 9900 % on UX investment. Thus, how do you feel usability testing is going to improve the software app? Let us check below:

  • Enhance app designs

Running essential types of usability testing in software engineering will allow the development team to understand how users communicate with the application in real life. With such insights, the staff is able to make changes and enhance the app’s UX before the launch. 

  • Detect errors

With the assistance of different types of usability testing in software engineering, testers are able to identify problems in software before its release on the marketplace. Thus, when there’s some trouble with the app’s features or navigation, the assessment staff is able to get and fix them with usability testing.

  • Reduce costs

One important benefit of usability testing services is they allow the testers to fix the issues at the start of the development process. As an outcome, well-organized testing is going to make the app development lifecycle smoother, decreasing the risks of redesigns in the future. 

  • Increase competition

Just how can an app stand out in the competitive market? The solution is providing the person with a remarkable user experience that aligns with their needs. Thus, just how can we achieve high-level UX in our app and attract a lot more users? You guessed it right. It’s through usability testing.

Essential tips to enhance the usability testing process

When performing usability testing methods, consider the following tips for better results:

  • Set clear goals

Having goals that are specific before conducting usability testing can help the testing team remain on track through the entire process. Besides, well-organized usability testing is going to gather the correct info and guide the team to correct software performance.

  • Encourage open feedback

While involving owners in the assessment procedure, make sure they receive a word and also establish that boosts honest feedback. Whenever the users feel their opinions are very valued, they are going to give genuine reviews that help improve their products.

  • Perform different testing methods

Conducting various types of usability testing in software engineering will enable the assessment staff to get much better insight into the app’s usability. Besides, it can help the testing staff to gather info, like the target audience’s preferences and behavior.

  • Hire experts

Whenever a business hires educated and specialized testers, they obtain access to highly effective testing processes that improve the app’s functionality. As an outcome, with the correct usability testing services, one may send excellent apps to the digital store.

To sum up,

We’ve reviewed the way the various types of usability testing in software engineering are able to improve software apps. It’s a brief tool for the assessment staff to boost the functionality and user experience of the software program. So, why do you wait? See your company’s cutting edge by leveraging systematic usability testing.

Anil Kondla

Anil is an enthusiastic, self-motivated, reliable person who is a Technology evangelist. He's always been fascinated at work especially at innovation that causes benefit to the students, working professionals or the companies. Being unique and thinking Innovative is what he loves the most, supporting his thoughts he will be ahead for any change valuing social responsibility with a reprising innovation. His interest in various fields and the urge to explore, led him to find places to put himself to work and design things than just learning. Follow him on LinkedIn

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