Module 4: Checkpoint 5—Usability testing
Benefits of conformance
- Increased customer satisfaction based on industry research and development.
- Improved quality of service for all users.
- Increased product quality and reliability.
Risks of non-conformance
- Poor quality product delivered to customers.
- Increased customer support enquiries.
- Increased complaints.
Application development must incorporate a user-centred design process from the beginning of the process engineering stage.
Each new process must undergo usability testing and the results should be used to improve the usability of that process:
- Usability testing should occur at the beginning, middle and pre-release of an application development cycle.
- It is recommended that usability testing be conducted initially with black and white paper-based prototypes during the process engineering phase.
- Involve five or more participants who are not related to the development project.
- Participants should represent the identified target audience for the application.
- Use task based scenarios.
- For example: The application being tested allows a user to add a number of search terms and then search against them. The testing participant could be asked to: "Conduct a search for large white buildings."
This kind of user testing is important because it will help to catch any usability issues not already explicitly covered in this standard. For example, user testing should help to identify issues with the wording of questions and instructions, the flow of the questions and screens, or even layout and colour choices.
Contact your agency web team for advice.