Digital products are supposed to make our lives easier, and with them comes the demand for flawless and good usability of apps and websites. This presents companies with a new challenge: the impressions and experiences that customers have with their product are becoming much more important for the success of the company. But how can you judge the state of your own product?
Check usability & user experience (UX)
In the course of this, the terms usability and user experience are increasingly coming into focus, even for companies that have had little contact with them up to now. Usability stands for the user-friendliness or usability of a product and user experience (UX) for the user experience.
User experience is a broad concept that encompasses not only usability but also other aspects of the user experience, such as the subjective emotional feeling. User experience design pursues the goal of making people's interactions and experiences with products and services as positive and successful as possible. The interaction of usability, look and feel is particularly important.
What does "usability" stand for?
Usability consists of, among other things, functionality, task completion and satisfaction. It can be tested, for example, by examining whether users can achieve their goals effectively and efficiently. Technical errors can also be classified here, which in the worst case can hold up the user or even prevent certain actions and thus impair "usability".
Questions that should be asked here: Is the user:in able to reach his goal? Can he reach his goal with minimal effort? Does he reach his goal without dissatisfaction or hurdles?
What influence does the "look" have?
The mere design of the user interface (UI) also has an impact on the subjective perception of the end user of the product. The appearance or design can have an impact on the perceived credibility or desirability of a product and thus on its success. Usage may be negatively influenced by incomprehensible app or web architecture or an inconsistent design far from familiar interaction patterns, which we examine in our UI analysis.
Questions to ask: Does the design contribute to ease of use? Does it provide appropriate support to the user? Does it follow familiar interaction patterns and thus help users find their way around more quickly?
How do you capture the "feel"?
Another important aspect of the user experience is the subjective feeling, which can only be analysed by interviewing real users. The aim is to understand HOW the users interact with the product and WHAT reactions and emotions arise. Depending on the content or the digital product itself, the target group and their specific requirements for use can differ greatly. Therefore, it is essential to find out the right people and the real context of use.
Questions to ask yourself: Who is the target group? How do they use the product? Which wishes, problems and/or optimisation potentials exist from the user's point of view?
Success with testing methods
If there are problems in one or even several aspects of usability, look & feel, this has a negative impact on the user experience of a product. If products are not tested for these aspects before a release, errors or problems are discovered by the end user, who does not report them but stops using the product and, in the worst case, does not come back.
To prevent these problems at an early stage, testing should be thought of as a regular part of the development process. Various methods can be used to precisely check the sub-aspects of the user experience and to identify deviations, problems or potential for improvement:
Trained in-house testers and a high level of device coverage ensure that any errors found are transmitted directly to the ticket system. Manual testing thus uncovers technical errors in particular and thus has an impact on usability, as the user has access to better functioning products with quick updates and fixes.
User Interface (UI) Analysis
A UI analysis for apps finds deviations from the established manufacturer guidelines of Apple and Google and helps to comply with tried and tested solutions. This increases the recognition value and users can find their way around the app more quickly and easily, for example
Usability testing with representatives of the target group
Usability testing with representatives of the real target group reveals the expectations of the product and evaluates the quality of the content from the perspective of the end user. Such an honest stocktaking makes it possible to plan sensible next steps in the interest of the users or to uncover and eliminate problems.
Ideal use of testing
The greatest effect is achieved with a skilful combination or a step-by-step use of methods that build on each other. Depending on the point in the development process and the status of the product, one or the other sequence is recommended:
In the early stages of development
For example, when the first drafts or prototypes are created, they should be validated at an early stage through usability testing with the target group. In this way, the best possible user guidance and high quality of the content can be achieved before the code is written. After the technical implementation, manual testing and UI analysis should be used for further quality assurance.
If code has already been programmed
At this stage, manual testing is recommended as the first step in quality control. This way, purely technical errors can be fixed first. Subsequently, a UI analysis and/or a usability test can be carried out, which reveals possible problems with the user guidance and the design.
With the skilful use of testing methods, digital products can be realised with high quality - a significant competitive advantage! If you have any questions about the implementation and planning of any of the methods described, we will be happy to advise and assist you!