Reggie: Usability testing is really important because if you don’t invest on the front end with how users -- people -- are engaging in your product, then on the back end you’re going to end up spending a lot more time, effort, energy and money trying to fix what might be broken.
Shannon: Usability testing is an opportunity to get in front of that human being and make sure that the concept of whatever you are trying to design makes sense to them, and is something that they would want to use.
Reggie: Whenever you create a product it goes through a design phase where you reach a moment where you need feedback. Your design could be at a very low fidelity sketch format, or it could be at a wireframe format, or even a very high fidelity prototype format. In each of those moments you reach a point where it’s really important to get feedback on what users think about your design and how they use it.
Shannon: Usability testing is an opportunity for you to touch base with that human being and get that human-centered approach to make sure that what you're creating is going to make sense, is going to be usable and honestly is something that they want.
Kyree: When you have a lot of different perspectives, that’s one of the things that usability testing can account for. So if you started off early enough we can see if the site is really going left when we really want it to go right. There have been times when I’ve had users come in and take a look at the site and they think that it does something completely different than what the site was intended for. There may be a tool there that helps them to filter things or just do simple research and they see it as something completely different. So for our clients it’s important for them to know, before they go any further in the process and really start investing in and building it, if it even does what people think it is supposed to do. So here at Electronic Ink we have the capability to test for desktop and for mobile devices. We also have an eye tracker that we can use to do desktop testing where we follow the sequence of where the users look on the screen and where they fixate. We can evaluate how long they are looking at a particular spot on the screen or on the site.
Reggie: We have a variety of ways that we can set up and conduct usability testing here at Electronic Ink. We have the equipment that we can use to conduct mobile testing really anywhere. We spend a lot of time conducting tests inside of our clients’ offices, with a lot of their enterprise software. But also we spend a lot of time with many of our automotive clients in parking lots. We can conduct usability research on really any interface, anywhere in the world.
Harold: Our clients always come back and say that that day in the lab produced far more than they ever expected. They made far more discoveries about their customer or their employee than they ever imagined they would. They really thought that this test was about testing an object. What they leave understanding is that that exercise in the lab was about understanding a person, and those are two very different things.