Usability Testing

In: Computers and Technology

Submitted By MadooMaya
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Usability testing is a technique used in user-centered interaction design to evaluate a product by testing it on users. This can be seen as an irreplaceable usability practice, since it gives direct input on how real users use the system.[1] This is in contrast with usability inspection methods where experts use different methods to evaluate a user interface without involving users. Usability testing focuses on measuring a human-made product's capacity to meet its intended purpose. Examples of products that commonly benefit from usability testing are foods, consumer products, web sites or web applications, computer interfaces, documents, and devices. Usability testing measures the usability, or ease of use, of a specific object or set of objects, whereas general human-computer interaction studies attempt to formulate universal principles.
History of usability testing Henry Dreyfuss in the late 1940s contracted to design the state rooms for the twin ocean liners "Independence" and "Constitution." He built eight prototype staterooms and installed them in a warehouse. He then brought in a series of travelers to "live" in the rooms for a short time, bringing with them all items they would normally take when cruising. His people were able to discover over time, for example, if there was space for large steamer trunks, if light switches needed to be added beside the beds to prevent injury, etc., before hundreds of state rooms had been built into the ship.[2] A Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) employee wrote that PARC used extensive usability testing in creating the Xerox Star, introduced in 1981.[3] The Inside Intuit book, says (page 22, 1984), "... in the first instance of the Usability Testing that later became standard industry practice, LeFevre recruited people off the streets... and timed their Kwik-Chek (Quicken) usage with a stopwatch. After…...

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