In parts 1, 2, and 3 we’ve talked about usability testing as a concept. Now it’s time to get real.
We’ve covered the theory, now it’s time to see usability testing in practice. Here are some actual examples of usability testing in the wild.
By the end of this article, you’ll have a more robust idea of the kinds of research questions usability testing can answer, how actual companies perform these tests and your expected outcomes.
Below, you’ll discover how a leading global airline and UserZoom collaborated to launch a new website that was a sky-high success.
This case study demonstrates how you can harness the power of usability testing to discover opportunities to improve digital products and solutions.
Back in 2014, the airline launched a company-wide initiative: “Always Getting Better.” A vital part of this initiative was the re-design of its company website.
The airline wanted to turn its website into an online travel platform that offered an enhanced customer experience by reducing the number of steps to book flights, an improved account section, and a seamless experience across mobile devices and other channels.
Once the pilot platform was ready to go, the airline partnered with UserZoom. Together, they conducted remote usability testing to measure their new online experience.
The usability tests included task-based scenarios where users were asked to select the cheapest fare or book specific travel dates. Users were timed and recorded as they navigated the airline’s test site to complete these objectives.
We also conducted usability tests to gather feedback on users’ first impressions of the site and the overall look and feel from early prototype development through to launch.
Together, these approaches enabled us to gather qualitative and quantitative insights. These insights were fed back to the design team throughout the website’s development lifecycle.
Overall, the airline built a better user experience for the company’s website by identifying opportunities for improvement in a rapid, iterative time-boxed process.
The development team was able to make informed UX decisions based on real user data in real-time, resulting in the creation of an incredibly user-friendly website.
Monster is a global leader in connecting people and jobs. After the company revamped its website, it wanted to see how its users felt about the new look and feel.
This case study is an excellent example of how usability testing can help you ensure you’re addressing your users' wants and needs.
With UserZoom, Monster came up with a brief:
We conducted an international remote usability study in the US, UK, France, Germany, and the Netherlands. To meet Monster’s brief, we used both qualitative and quantitative tactics.
Each participant in the study completed four tasks on the website. A series of questions then followed each task and the whole experience was rounded off with a final questionnaire to gain a deep understanding of how users felt about the redesigned website.
While all this was happening, we also collected clickstream data from each user to generate heat maps, which provided additional visual clues about user behavior.
As soon as the testing was over, Monster had a wealth of insights it could use to improve its website experience, as well as longitudinal metrics to demonstrate improvement over time.
This Fortune 50 healthcare provider helps a lot of users via its online platform. With features to find claims online, discover benefits, look up doctors, and learn more about the costs of different procedures, delivering an excellent user experience was crucial, but a department reconfiguration put the internal UX team to the test.
This case study highlights the value of remote usability testing for uncovering design issues and making user improvements at speed and scale.
At the same time, the company transitioned from the older style of waterfall development to a more modern agile development process.
This created a need for the team to turn around usability tests more quickly and in finer-grained segments to test specific aspects of each design.
As with many UX teams, though, resources were an issue. The UX team wanted to serve the company’s needs without staffing up. That’s where we entered the picture.
The customer integrated remote usability testing into its repertoire with UserZoom. The digital practices team used UserZoom to record testing sessions and visually inspect mouse movements and clicks for testing, giving them the ability to see what tasks people were struggling to complete.
The company saw UserZoom as an extension to its in-lab testing, giving them the ability to analyze product usability outside of the lab and still obtain visual feedback on what occurred and why.
UserZoom also empowered the company to keep up with the demands of its new agile development timeframes. The digital practices team used UserZoom’s remote usability testing to launch studies and answer specific questions in as little as two weeks—rather than the two or three months required for in-lab testing.
By using UserZoom to go beyond in-lab testing, the digital practices team unlocked new costs and time efficiencies, and accelerated the UX research lifecycle to deliver consistent, impressive UX improvements.
For example, in one case, the team developed and tested a prototype that resulted in an 85% success rate with new registrants—a stark contrast from the 60% drop-off range they saw on the old site.
These examples demonstrate the numerous use cases of usability testing throughout the product development lifecycle.
We can sum-up the overarching objectives of usability testing in three ways:
Now that you’ve got a firm idea of what a usability test looks like, it’s time to start planning your own questions. Find out more in the next chapter.