What goes into Usability Testing?

Usability Testing is often an under-appreciated aspect of Product Design. Letting users try out a product can often help designers think differently and adopt alternate strategies to move ahead with their product. This week, Pragati Mehrotra (Product Designer at Obvious) conducted the Masterclass on Usability Testing, and the various ways it can improve your design work.

The cohort got a feel of the what’s, how’s, and why’s of Usability Testing, and the reason why every good designer finds it to be a very insightful process. They were also introduced to some concepts related to Usability Research such as Formative and Summative Testing, their characteristics, and the right time to use them in your journey.

To consolidate their learnings, Pragati also set up an Interactive movie-watching app to make the cohort try out what Usability Research feels like. Santrupti, a fellow from our cohort, joined in to test out the app. For the exercise, Santrupti was asked to take on the role of a mother of a child, trying to choose a good movie to watch for them. Santrupti was free to click on anything and was asked to observe how she felt while using the app.

The designer in Santrupti quickly made observations about the interface and the technicalities of the app, but as the exercise progressed, she found it easier to stay in the mindset of a mother. Pragati supervised the session, asking questions about her feelings and inputs on how the app was.

This session was key in developing a more hands-on understanding of what the interviews and the rapport-building in these sessions look like.

Something that also stood out from the masterclass was what the mentor said, “Different people understand different products differently.”

This statement highlights how important it is to take in insights from all the users of the product, and how designers should keep in mind the average user’s needs while designing their product. The session sparked a much-needed conversation about the importance of usability testing in the product design process.

This masterclass had all the right things in it- a bit of fun, engagement, new ideas, and a whole lot of noteworthy insights for the cohort to take home.

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