- Usability Tests
- Expert Appraisals
- Eye Tracking
- Focus Groups
Is the usability acceptable now or does it need to be improved? Does the interaction between the user and system work as desired? Are the users disappointed or delighted? Questions, which we ask consciously, methodically and at the right time.
The evaluation of concept and design from the perspective of the user is required when deciding if investing in implementation is worthwhile or whether bad usability and perhaps an unattractive interface will manifest themselves. Later changes, for example after complaints or damaging market feedback, are very expensive and should be avoided early on.
In a user-centred design process we offer our clients usability evaluations carried out by exceptional experts on our team. We offer this service also as an external advisor, independent from our own solutions. Of course we also offer support when our solutions are to be analysed by independent third parties.
The most important factor is that testing is carried out and the resulting knowledge is used to improve the user interface.
We offer classical usability tests in addition to laboratory tests as well as on-site tests, in concrete usage contexts, e.g. at a work station. We work with mobile testing equipment and utilise the specialised (configured) software toolset Morae, to provide the greatest flexibility and reduce costs.
Within the field of usability testing we offer our clients a choice of a complete package or individual components
- Designing the recruiting screen and recruiting test participants
- Organising test labs, globally if necessary with the help of our international partners
- Organising additional services such as simultaneous translation, catering, etc.
- Designing the test settings including pre- und post-test polls
- Carrying out the test with moderators and observers
- Video documentation
- Analysis and evaluation of the test results including concrete suggestions for improvement
- Presentation of the test results including video highlights
It is important to us at this point to bring up the fact that we, as an exceptional team of creative usability specialists place special value on sharing improvement potentials in a way that motivates both developers and designers, instead of providing an uninspiring usability critique.
We are pleased to act as a frequent national partner for the completion of international testing projects (e.g. Foviance, London UK).
As an analytical process expert reviews do not replace empirical usability tests with test users. However, they are a very valuable method for evaluating and estimating the quality of an interactive system by usability specialists. Expert reviews and formal usability tests complement one another perfectly.
We therefore recommend getting an interface reviewed by our expert team and thereby to receive two things: a reliable estimate of improvement potentials and a very specific idea of what problems should be addressed explicitly with a targeted user test, because it is to be expected that this will lead to important additional knowledge.
An especially interesting application for expert reviews is a comparable examination of different competing products, in order to receive a reliable picture of the benchmark.
We differentiate between the following types of expert reviews: the cognitive walkthrough and the heuristic walkthrough. In the cognitive walkthrough the expert puts himself in the user's place and thinks about how the user interacts with the system on the basis of existing tasks, similar to the tasks of a usability test. The expert considers which cognitive stumbling blocks the user might encounter and how he would respond to them. During a heuristic walkthrough the expert also goes through the system in question from point of view of the user, but in addition continuously asks questions with a heuristic foundation concerning the quality of the system.
The principles of dialogue design as summarized in the standard ISO-EN 9241-110 offer a suitable heuristic basis. The expert investigate the system according to: task appropriateness, self-description possibility, learning conduciveness, ability to be controlled, conformity to expectations, ability to be individualised and tolerance for errors.
When you decide to contract HID for an expert review, it is guaranteed that the people who examine your system are permanently involved in developing interface concepts themselves, concepts that provide the highest degree of usability and aesthetic design. At both of these levels you will be made aware of any improvement potentials.
Where do the people look at what time? Why don't they see my important information? How can I best steer their visual attention?
If you would like to understand your users' visual perception exactly and value an analysis of user attention for your interface solution, then we offer you a test setting with eye-tracker.
The eye tracking method makes it possible to analyse the how a user's gaze moves as he operates a product, a software system or a website and makes it visually comprehensible. We advise you when and in what context a test with support of the eye-tracker makes sense. As before we use a mobile system, which can be implemented in laboratory tests or on site.
Not every question pertinent to design requires a usability test with individual testers. On the contrary, especially questions concerning the acceptance of a design or requests and expectations as well as critique can be catalysed in group discussions.
Focus groups are part of classic market research and have a similar function within the usability context. Our focus groups are moderated and observed by HID employees or by insiders we invite to be moderators of specific topics.
At the end we document all results and present our knowledge in a distilled format to our contractors.