One of the most important things to consider when creating a new website, among several other aspects, is the usability of the site. The usability is how easy an object on the site is to use. The usability is important to the website because if a website is not usable, whoever is visiting the site will just leave it forever, and nobody wants that to be his website.
Usability testing is having other people test aspects on a website. Typically, when setting up a usability test, the host develops a list of tasks that the test people must accomplish. Whilst completing the tasks, the people must take note of the website’s performance. Watching other people test the website is a good way to tell if it is usable because one gets to see immediately how his website runs.
There are three main categories of usability testing, these include explorative, assessment, and comparative. Explorative is used in early product development to figure out the usability of a prototype. Assessment is used in the middle of product development, and it works to evaluate the effectiveness and real time workings of the website. And comparative is used to compare to sites or products and seek out their strengths and weaknesses.
As there are multiple methods of testing usability itself, there are a multitude of ways of gathering people to test it. For instance there is hallway testing. This method takes random people who are trained in web design themselves to test the usability of a website. Sometimes one reaches out to people all over the world to participate in his usability testing session, this is called remote usability testing. There is also, of course, testing it through an expert where she will go through the site and evaluate the usability of it. There’s also the holy grail of testing usability, that is automated usability evaluation. This method is so legendary because the evaluating is done by a prototype designed to do so. But there is always self testing, which implies that you yourself go through your site and evaluate its usability.