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Lab usability testing on desktop, tablet and smartphones, or reaching out remotely to engage larger numbers of testers.

Lab usability testing: Why do it?

Usability testing is the best way to get detailed insights into the usability problems of a website or app, and how to fix them. Why? Because you can watch what users are actually doing on your site, rather than relying on what they say they are doing.

In general, we think lab based moderated user testing produces the best outcomes. Here’s why:

  • You observe in real time and can see users’ behaviours as they happen
  • You can better understand users’ goals with expert facilitation
  • You can probe when testers do something unexpected
  • You can guide (if necessary) when testers cannot find content
  • It gets the stakeholders together and forces them to ‘confront’ user evidence

For hard to reach testers, who cannot come to the lab, remote moderated research using screen sharing software offers an effective alternative to lab-based sessions.

How we do it

We can:

  • Undertake standalone usability testing on your existing website
  • Embed as part of your agile team integrating usability testing into your development sprints
  • Provide iterative impartial third-party testing on your prototype and developing site

We adopt a real time think aloud ‘lite’ facilitation approach so not to interfere with the user journey. We observe behaviours to get insights into users ‘Fast’ thinking and this allows us to ask attitudinal questions to access ‘Slow’ thinking about relevant issues e.g. is the content useful.

In order to get the best, unbiased results out of the think aloud protocol, we adopt an open, non-directional form of questioning and let the users lead the session.

Finally, a key element of our approach is to involve influential members of your organisation in the observation of research in order to develop a shared understanding of the issues and develop solutions that ‘fit’ your organisation.

More on our approach

Each project follows the following rough structure:

  • Project preparation – We work with you to plan the research, so you get the right solution – not an ‘off the shelf’ one. We are very flexible in our approach to ensure you feel you are getting value for money.
  • Testers and Recruitment – we conduct all our recruitment in house. We believe this allows us to recruit more accurately to your specification, provide greater flexibility, and treat testers in a decent and ethical way. Our tester no-show rate is less than 1% (normal market research no-show rates are about 10%).
  • Usability testing – The ‘core’ of lab based usability testing is the day when the you and your stakeholders observe some testing (usually 3-4 testers) and then take part in a discussion to agree issues and actions.

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