Our visitors, however, don’t have this advantage. This means that testing for usability is the only reliable way to find out how well a website works.
Usability testing allows you to discover many ways in which your site can be improved.
How much testing should I do?
Usability testing may sound daunting, but in reality, a small investment can yield large gains. Jacob Nielsen, one of the best-known usability gurus, says:
“The best results come from testing no more than 5 users and running as many small tests as you can afford.”
– Jacob Nielsen (Why You Only Need to Test With 5 Users)
That’s right. Just 5 users will provide enough results to help you make effective updates to your website. While you could test with 15 users to find most or all problem areas on your site, testing with just 5 will uncover 85% of issues, which gives you the most value for your money.
Other trouble spots can be identified by testing a subsequent round of users, and with each additional test, the number of issues uncovered will decrease.
It’s important to note that the very first usability test offers the greatest insight. Even a small amount of testing can yield significant results and reveal big issues and problem areas early on.
This means that you don’t need to spend a lot of time or money to benefit from usability testing.