Originally, this referred to methods that measured the usability of electrical equipment. These days, most usability testing is of web sites, but it's also possible to test written instructions using the same methods.
Usability testing is the process of carrying out experiments to find out specific information about a design. It is part three of the "Usability Evaluation Toolbox". In usability testing, representative users work on typical tasks using the website (or a prototype) and the evaluators use the results to see how the user interface supports the users in doing their tasks. For more information see: Testing.
A wide range of methods which allows someone to determine how usable a product is, and where users have difficulty. Often, users are given a series of tasks which they are asked to perform. Their performance is measured carefully. Testers will note what they do, how they do it, and how long it takes. They may be asked to complete some kind of qualitative or quantitative survey afterwards and at the end of the tests, they may have a "debriefing" where they discuss their experiences with the tester.
Checking that the website performs the function for which it was designed, with the minimum amount of user frustration, time and effort â€“ usually involves observation in which participants are asked to verbalize their thoughts by 'thinking out loud', and analysis of responses. Validation The functionality which allows forms to be automatically checked before or at submission to ensure that any required questions have been answered and/or that data has been entered in a suitable format. This can be done using client-side and/or server-side scripting. Typically, validation routines will prevent submission where problems are found with the form and a message will be delivered to the user prompting them to check their answers and resubmit. Web-based questionnaire A questionnaire is designed as a web-page and hosted on a web-site.
the act of observing the behavior of individuals or a group of people's attempts to use a product or website. The users normally meet a predefined set of criteria and are asked to accomplish a set of objectives without the assistance of the observer. Observation tools range from a paper notepad to a combination of: eyetracking, event logging and video taping devices. The testing is intended to reveal problems with the user experience be it frustration or actual site functionality.
A structured testing of product usability in which target users perform work with a product while being observed. The users will work through structured scenarios that should represent common, critical uses of the product.
Usability testing is a means for measuring how well people can use some human-made object (such as a web page, a computer interface, a document, or a device) for its intended purpose, i.e. usability testing measures the usability of the object. Usability testing focuses on a particular object or a small set of objects, whereas general human-computer interaction studies attempt to formulate universal principles.