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Hardly any discussion about UX or design in general these days can end up without mentioning usability. It became one of these ‘hot’ concepts every expert has an opinion on. There is even a World Usability Day on 12th of November when usability is celebrated, usually among interested parties gathered on different conferences. For example, this year’s topic was innovation and some of the many conferences where it was discussed took place in Rome, Vienna, Bristol, Amsterdam, Michigan, etc.

None of this is unusual since the fact that if you want to make something meaningful for your users, you better make sure they a) want it and b) know how to use it.

Being assured your product is something anyone in the world wants or needs is a whole different topic, and could be roughly summed up to one word: RESEARCH.

Once you undergo steps in order to find some objective reasons to believe that your idea will be accepted, you have to find out the best form in which to offer it. And this is where usability testing gets on the floor.

Why bothering with usability checks at all?

Once and for all: Usability testing ensures quality and acceptance of your future product. Whether you are developing awesome new app the world has never seen, or offering new, slightly adapted model of a kitchen blender, you have to make sure people can easily find out how to use it. Your creation has to be intuitive and cosy to use. Otherwise, people won’t be interested in the product, or more probably will be irritated by it.

Usability testing ensures quality and acceptance of your future product.

How to do it?

If you are not interested in sitting and watching how all of your efforts put in product development go down the drain, don’t forget about users for whom you are making it. They are the ones who already know how each and every feature of your product is supposed to look like. So, prepare precise tasks you want your users to undergo, and LET THEM TALK! Don’t navigate them or give them specific ideas. Just keep calm and measure their behaviour. Once you get your priceless feedback, analyze it carefully, implement it, and go back to your users to find out what they think about the product now.

Users already know how each and every feature of your product is supposed to look like.

When to start?

The whole idea with usability testing is to be sure you’re developing something meaningful. The least risky way is to build your product gradually and with focus on relevant testing groups. Namely, you can gamble with your time and money and maybe win the jackpot even though the odds are heavily against you because you started testing late, or less likely, not testing at all. But the chances are really not that high. More likely scenario: ending up without resources and possibility to correct yourself. A sure and easy way to prevent this: start testing early! It is simple as that.

We strongly believe in importance of usability testing. This is why we are dedicated developers of KonceptApp – pioneering type of service for usability testing in pre-development stage. What about you? Do you think there is an adequate substitute for user testing?