What is usability?
Usability measures the quality of a user’s experience when interacting with a website or computer application. Usability testing can help you identify major issues and lead you to workable solutions. It doesn't take long and, if it's done in-house, there is no cost to you.
Why conduct usability testing?
Usable systems save money and help to:
- increase productivity
- raise customer satisfaction
- reduce development time
- decrease maintenance costs
When should I test for usability?
Conduct usability testing when you:
- create a new website before it is in use or goes live
- suspect something isn’t working well for your site visitors
- make major revisions to your site and want to know how those revisions will affect your site visitors
- create an application with a user interface before it is in use or goes live
If you contract with a consultant for website services or to develop an application, ensure that usability testing is part of the process.
How is usability testing done?
At WSDOT Headquarters, we have staff who conduct usability testing with special software and equipment. We identify major issues and recommend solutions in a report provided to you.
Because testing equipment is portable, we can conduct tests at your location. In some cases, we can conduct remote tests using GoToMeeting. We can test mobile applications, too.
Who do I contact for usability testing?
For in-house testing, email Web Help or call 360-705-7079. WSDOT’s usability staff will get in touch with you.
We can work with the Department of Enterprise Services (DES) for more advanced testing and documentation. Visit http://www.des.wa.gov/services/web-usability-testing to learn more about their services.