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Resource: When should I conduct usability testing for a product?

Discussion Topic(s) Addressed: Integrating usability testing when designing and developing a product/tool 

Resource Summary:

  • This resource explains that usability testing should be conducted throughout the product development cycle. Particularly, the resource highlights the key focuses and strategy for the following stages:
    - Before a Redesign
    - During a Redesign
    - After a Redesign
  • This resource is written from the perspective of an existing product. However, the same concepts can also be applied to a new design.

Other Key Features of the Resource:

  • The resource quotes 2 minutes as its reading time, and provides foundational information to the “when to test” topic.
  • This resource is written from the perspective of an existing product. However, the same concepts can also be applied to a new design.
  • The resource is provided by Interaction Design Foundation (https://www.interaction-design.org), which focuses on “free and open access to top-grade educational materials on how to design technology.”

Citation for the Resource:
Interaction Design Foundation. (2019, June). When should I conduct usability testing for a product? Retrieved from https://www.interaction-design.org/literature/article/when-should-i-conduct-usability-testing-for-a-product



Additional/Related Resources:
The following resources provide additional rationales for testing throughout the product development cycle:

  1. DuVerneay, Jessica. (2013, March 4). When to test: Incorporating user testing into product design. Retrieved from https://www.usertesting.com/blog/when-to-test-incorporating-usability-testing-into-product-design/
    1. Key Takeaways:
      1. Usability testing can also be coupled with activities that are aimed to inform the project in the following areas: 
        1. Discovery
        2. User research
        3. Strategy & structure design
        4. Launch & assessment
      2. It’s never the wrong time to test.
  2. Watson, Zach. (2018). When is the best time to conduct usability testing? Retrieved from https://blog.maze.design/best-time-usability-testing/
    1. Key Takeaways:
      1. Test early and often.
      2. In addition to the three stages of the product development cycle, also test in high-risk, low-certainty situations.
      3. Ultimately, the more time you spend getting to know the users, the better informed your design decisions will be, and the bigger impact they'll have on your users' lives.



This resource review is created as a response to the “Usability -- before, during, or after design?” topic posted to the forum.