Once you have validated that your product’s overall workflow meets customer and user needs, do usability testing to evaluate individual tasks to ensure they are easy to complete. Usability evaluation assesses the degree to which users can operate a system and their efficiency and satisfaction when using the system. Such evaluations validate that tasks are easy to complete—and test an application’s ease of use, not the intelligence of users. If tasks are difficult or impossible to complete, a system is not easy to use.
Large companies in mature markets may have several usability labs and teams of specialists who are constantly testing design solutions with users. Smaller, more agile companies may have someone who is doing usability testing, but not with the same rigor or formality as a larger, well-established company would.
Usability testing is at the heart of making a solution easy to use. Early solutions in a market tend not to be easy to use, but this is changing as more progressive, agile companies are doing usability testing early and often and incorporating usability evaluation into their product’s design and development lifecycle.
This blog series is based on the article Winning in the Marketplace: How Much User Experience Effort Does It Take?