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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

What is website usability testing?

Since the past few years the growth and usage of the web sites which are both free and paid had risen rapidly. In other words, we can say that the usability of the web sites has witnessed a massive growth. With the rise of usage of web sites and web applications, it is obvious that the demand for the web site usability testing also increases! 
Now you must be wondering what actually is web site usability testing? In the earlier times, it took expensive recruitment labs and a large amount of time and deployment to carry out the web site usability testing. Since the advent of the web site usability testing tools, the whole process of testing seems to be so smooth and so under control. 
In this article we have discussed about web site usability testing. You might be thinking that why it is necessary to carry out web site usability and what good it does to the web sites and web applications. 
- The web site usability testing contributes as an essential element of the quality assurance of the web site or web application under the testing. 
- Web site usability testing can be considered to be an exact, actual and true test of how a web site or web application is actually being used by the end users.
- Web site usability testing  becomes quite easy when you know how to do it and also quite cheap when you are going to carry it out yourself. 
- Web site usability testing involves checking the following aspect of the web sites and web applications:
  1. It checks if the web site or the web application is being used by a series of individuals under some guidance from a facilitator.
  2. It checks whether or not the web site or the web application can be successfully used by the outsiders.
  3. It checks if the web site or the web application is focusing only on a particular group.
There are some common terms associated with the web site usability testing that we are going to discuss now:
  1. Observer: An observer is the person in charge of the observation of the of the test that is in progress and he/ she often sits in another room.
  2. Facilitator: He/ she is the person in charge of the guidance of the user while the usability test is under progress and takes relevant notes.
  3. Owner: Owns the web site or the web application.
  4. Web site development team: This team constitutes of all the people who are involved with the development and maintenance of the web site or the web application. It includes the following:
a)    Strategy group
b)    Programmers
c)    Designers
d)    Stake holders and so on.
  1. User: The person who uses the web application or web testing during the usability testing.
  2. Usability: It can be thought of as a measure up to which the intended user achieve his/ her goals using the web site or web application that is under test.
Testers usually take a whole one whopping big usability test which makes the whole testing process quite clumsy rather than breaking down the testing process in to little parts and then executing them. 

There are 5 appropriate timings for carrying out the web site and application testing as mentioned below:
  1. At the time of the conception of the web site you can start by testing a printed mock up of the home page of the site.
  2. Before a re development plan is created.
  3. Repeatedly during development.
  4. Whenever an anomaly shows up in a traffic analysis.
  5. When the owner of the web site calls for some info regarding his web site or web application. 

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