Usability is how easy is it for someone to use a product. Website usability is important because it can determine whether someone would use your site or not. Like how UX research is important to any part of the user experience design process, research is also crucial for website usability.

 

3 Main Categories of Usability Testing

 

1.)   Explorative: Understand users’ thought processes and understanding, and create the basic design/prototype. Usually used at the beginning of the project.

2.)   Assessment: Test the effectiveness of a prototype, determine the overall satisfaction and usability of a product. Is used repetitively to determine what needs improvement.

3.)   Comparative: Compares the prototype to a similar product and determine the pros and cons of each.

 

Usability Testing Methods

Usability testing methods include:

1.)   Hallway testing: Use random people to test the website

2.)   Remote usability testing: Use people from different countries and time zones to test the website.

3.)   Expert review: Have an expert evaluate the usability

4.)   Questionnaires and interviews

5.)   Controlled experiments: usually used for comparison of two products

6.)   Automated usability evaluation

 

Source: http://usabilitygeek.com/an-introduction-to-website-usability-testing/

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