Usability Consulting Services

Overview

Requirements Gathering

Customer Interviews
   and Profiles

Competitive Analysis

Design

Whiteboard Design Sessions

UI Guidelines and Standards

Evaluation

Expert Reviews

Usability Testing

User Acceptance Testing

Usability Staffing and Usability Management Services

Remote Mentoring

Team Management

Adjunct Staffing

How We Do Business

Useful Products

Terms and Conditions

No Risk Usability

About The Usability Team

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History

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Usability Testing Services

Every product has business goals it needs to meet, but despite the slickest marketing campaign and coolest use of AJAX, products can fail if users can't figure out how to use the product. 

Usability tests puts real users in front of "alpha" products in realistic usage situations. This activity permits you evaluate how your product performs in the hands of real users and guides you to redesign problem areas. Any kind of product may be usability tested to ensure it meets the needs of its users:

  • call center applications
  • customer-facing internet sites
  • shrink-wrapped applications
  • intranets
  • B2B extranets
  • web-based training.

Benefits

Usability Testing services from The Usability Team ensure that your target audience can use your product efficiently and effectively to complete key tasks. The Usability Team will work with your product team to design, implement, and analyze a usability test. This usability test will identify which areas of your design are unclear, difficult to use, or inappropriate for your users' needs, goals, or skills.

Defined

The broad strokes of usability testing are as follows:

  • Decide what you want to test; identify key tasks and write scenarios.
  • Decide who you want to test with; identify, profile, and recruit the user group(s) you want to involve in the usability test.
  • Conduct the usability test.
  • Evaluate results.
  • Make redesign decisions.

How Long Does it Take?

Overall Process: about 3-5 weeks, depending on preparation

It is easy to add a usability test to your product's development schedule; organizations that are usability first-timers should hold a kick-off meeting about five weeks before the test itself. The usability test itself lasts one day and a punch-list of results is available at the end of the day. A full usability report will be available within 3 business days.

Phase

The Usability Team can deploy usability tests at almost any point during product development, but what revision you impact depends on where you are in relation to release. Using a stereotypical waterfall model as a point of reference:

We believe that usability testing is valuable almost any time, even if you swear you're not going to make any changes.

Questions Answered

The kinds of questions teams take away from usability testing are illustrated by way of example in the following vignettes.

  • Imagine your company is migrating a mainframe based call-center application to an intranet application. How do you know your CSRs can use the new web application as effectively as their mainframe application? How do you know they can use the web application at all? What kind of training will they need? Will it be a wholesale re-training or a simple guided tour of tricky UI conventions? 
  • Imagine your company is deploying a B2B website or an eCommerce site. How do you know that your target audience can use the site to transact with your company or purchase your products? Do they prefer another company's site?

The Usefulness Characteristic

Usability testing support Usability and Market Fit by involving representative users early in your product development lifecycle.

Usability testing, web usability, and usability evaluations from The Usability Team.

Do you worry this is how your market reacts to your product?

Usability Testing can be a tense experience for IT and Business teams who have invested a lot in a project, but we typically get two reactions from our clients after a usability test:

"This is the best thing we've ever done for our product."

"We have no idea how you have the patience to do what you do."

Our patience comes from a fascination with user research and product design. We'd love to work with you on your next project.

The Usability Team - Usability Consulting Services

Copyright © 2007 - Randolph Bias, Scott Butler, and Richard Gunther. All rights reserved.