Assess technology

Iterative usability testing

Usability testing is most effective when conducted iteratively (repeatedly) throughout the development of a product.  Iterative testing means conducting several periodic tests over the course of product development.  Usually, iterative testing is implemented early so the results will be of the most value to the development of the product.

iterative process: early, middle and end

It is possible to test usability on prototypes or models of the actual product rather than the actual product itself.  The prototypes can range from low similarity (using a prototype of the product that does not look like the final product), medium similarity (using a product that looks but may not function like the final product), or high similarity testing (using a product that looks and functions like the final product).   

Low similarity

Two examples of low similarity testing are paper prototyping and matching exercise.

Medium to high similarity

An example of medium to high similarity testing is using a limited number of Web pages to test an entire Web site. 

Page last updated: Sep 21 2011
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