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Usability Testing

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Usability Testing

Usability testing is used in a range of industries and involves allowing a customer to use a product, and then analysing their thoughts and how it performed. The test helps identify issues with a product before being put on sale, but also shows what works well. In market research, it isn’t much different; the researcher gives a representative user the product and allows them to test it with some feedback. The feedback provided by the participant can also act as leverage to create a better marketing campaign.
 
Having a researcher with good observational skills is important when conducting usability testing because they will need to be able to observe the participant closely. Sometimes what the participant does or how they act is different to how the product developers intended; which could lead to misuse of the product and make the product less profitable. In some circumstances, this could create a negative perception about the brand or company behind it.
 
Often, during usability testing, participants will be asked to solve a problem (or something similar) with the product, then to say aloud what they think they’re doing. This allows the researcher to observe differences in how the participant thought the product would work, what they are doing and what they think they are doing. This then allows the researcher to better understand how customers could misuse the product once it has been released.

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