User Testing

3 Reasons Why Usability Testing Isn’t Part of Your Workflow

Published November 27, 2014 ⚡ Updated on October 2, 2023 by Stefan Rössler
Usability Testing Workflow

We believe the Web is about people. We also believe that usability testing is the perfect way to understand these people. In fact, usability testing is the best way to improve your website based on users’ goals, needs, and feedback.

While that’s great, usability testing is not part of most designers’ or developers’ workflows.

Let’s look at 3 reasons why usability testing isn’t part of your workflow. We’ll also consider how you can change this for maximum gain & growth.

  1. Usability testing is still too expensive
  2. Usability testing takes a lot of time
  3. Usability testing isn’t as effortless as it could be

1. Usability testing is still too expensive

Think about They are offering a great service, but it’s “pricey” as many of our users have told us.

That’s because they focus on fixing problems. They bombard their customers with numerous options for targeting the right users, and they give them instant results.

You need to know that they have a pool of over a million test users waiting to do tests. And that’s always great!

But it costs a lot of money to maintain their business model and to deliver on their promise.

And that’s why their customers have to pay upwards of 60$ per usability test.

Userbrain provides affordable usability testing

The good news is that there is an alternative to expensive usability testing: Userbrain.

We believe that nobody should be priced out of usability testing. That’s why we provide a free trial – get started with your first two usability tests for free.

Starting at just $39 for a one-off pay-as-you-go usability test, Userbrain also offers subscription plans at a price point for everyone.

Userbrain Pricing

Get started with regular user testing today for as little as $99 with Userbrain’s Starter plan.

2. Usability testing takes a lot of time

I have to mention UserTesting again because they promise you to get your first test results within one hour.

Imagine this: you buy a test and get your first video within 60 minutes. Isn’t that great?

Well, it sounds great but this approach stems from the assumption that people treat usability testing as an afterthought.

And it’s true, a lot of people pay for some quick usability testing to get everything right in one shot, to check “easy to use” off of their to-do list.

In reality, usability testing can take a lot of time, so even if it’s fast, it still has to be done over a long period of time.

Userbrain provides quick usability testing

We keep three promises to our users: Userbrain provides easy, fast, and affordable usability testing.

Now, we’ve already covered the affordable part, so let’s explore the ‘fast’ bit. How can usability testing actually be fast? Didn’t we just say that usability testing takes a lot of time?

With Userbrain, you can create a test in less than 5 minutes using our ready-made templates. They are packed with useful tasks and helpful questions to help you get the ball rolling.

3. Usability testing isn’t as effortless as it could be

For the last 10 years, we were planning, organizing, and evaluating thousands of usability tests for our clients.

There’s one thing we know for sure: it’s a hell of a lot of work.

Although there are brilliant solutions out there, it takes hours, if not days, to watch and analyze the test videos.

Even if you pay someone for doing all the heavy lifting, it still takes a lot of effort to communicate all usability findings to your team.

Believe us, we were sitting in meetings that lasted all day, just to present some test results to our clients.

In the end, it’s always a lot of effort on both sides.

“When a designer runs a test, he or she knows what happened and can immediately start redesigning to fix the problems that the test identified. No meeting, no report, no communications overhead required.”

Jakob Nielsen, the “Usability Guru”

Userbrain provides easy usability testing

Alas, we’ve reached the core section of the holy trinity of Userbrain promises: Userbrain is easy.

Easy peasy, in fact. With an elegantly simple UI, Userbrain doesn’t overcomplicate the usability testing process.

Why? Because usability testing shouldn’t be complicated! Usability testing is all about obtaining feedback on your product or service – quickly, easily, and affordably.

What we’ve learned about usability testing

Usability testing is part of every business, just like design and marketing have been for centuries.

Everything is interconnected, and usability testing is not limited to a certain role or job title.

It’s part of every designer’s, every developer’s, and every website owner’s workflow. At least it should be.

Again, the Web is about people. It’s also about technology, of course, it’s about design, and the fact that marketing plays a vital role in this, is not new at all.

Anyway, the Web is, above all else, about people and not technology.

Although technology enables people to communicate in a way, that would have been called magic only decades ago.

It’s great to see there are millions of people out there making all this magic happen. I admire them and think they’re doing something valuable if they spend time working on the technology.

The question then is, why are they doing it?

The answer: for people.

They do it for themselves, you, me, and everyone else.

That’s where usability testing comes in handy. Over the last few years, we’ve learned how helpful testing with real people can be.

If you never did any usability testing before, you wouldn’t believe how valuable it actually is. But it makes perfect sense:

We’re all talking about user experience. Why don’t we invest more time in observing users interacting with our designs and having these experiences then?

It’s evident that this will help you improve your user experience.

But the three reasons at the beginning of this article about why we don’t usually do a lot of usability testing are holding us back. Even worse, they are just the tip of the iceberg.

The real problem is that we have a somewhat incomplete image of what usability testing is and how it could be used effectively.

How usability testing is misunderstood

Usability testing is great for fixing your website’s issues. Everybody knows this.

And there will be hardly anyone who claims that testing with real people is a waste of time.

We all know it’s not.

There is more than enough evidence to back this up. (are there any successful online business not investing in usability testing these days?)

So what’s the big misunderstanding then?

People think usability testing is only good for fixing problems.

That’s why they wait until they have usability issues, and then they want to solve these problems immediately.

That’s exactly what happens if someone has a problem-focused mind.

It’s also the reason why many usability testing services let you target your testers based on demographics.

If you’re trying to fix certain problems, you tend to believe that you need specific people to do this. Targeting testers is not only overrated, it also costs a lot of money. You can read more about that here.

In contrast to this reactive, problem-focused approach, we devised a rather proactive one.

Read more about proactive usability testing here.

In a nutshell, it’s about one big idea: designers and developers do their own usability testing.

The team developing Age of Empires II did this, and they published a paper on their process, referring to it as the RITE method.

Rapid Iterative Testing and Evaluation

Rapid Iterative Testing and Evaluation

Their way of thinking about usability turned my world upside down!

They didn’t try to finish their product or develop advanced prototypes for on-demand testing. They just setup a testing schedule and tested, whatever they were working on!

Of course, they were able to fix a lot of usability issues and software bugs (yap, usability testing is great for bug-fixing as well).

But there’s one thing that’s even more important about their story:

When designers and developers start observing real people, they get into a feedback loop, which helps them direct their creative & design processes towards a truly user-centric approach.

It turns out that usability testing is not just about fixing problems, it can drive your creativity!

How Userbrain changes the way we test

We believe the Web is about people and Usability testing is the perfect way to understand the people and to improve your website based on their goals and needs, on their feedback.

Now imagine if all the makers out there (designers, developers, startup people) would start doing usability testing.

Can you see how this will eventually change everything?

These ideas have the potential to grow and evolve the Web in a better direction much sooner.

Userbrain was founded by four makers who want to be a big part of this change.

Userbrain makes usability testing a habit

We offer a monthly subscription for getting videos of real people testing your website, webapp, or prototype (anything that can display a URL) through our Chrome Extension, Android, and iOS apps.

All you have to do is enter the URL and write a set of task for your users to complete. We even provide ready-made task templates to help you get started.

Then you order your testers and you will receive the videos when they are completed. This is typically within two or three hours.

You can then view the videos, download them, comment on them and share qualitative and quantitative insights with your team, using our Reports feature.

Userbrain Reports

Userbrain Reports provide key quantitative metrics to understand your users, such as time on task, task completion rate, and average time on task.

Userbrain makes usability testing simple

With Userbrain you just have to enter your web address and a few tasks (for which we have ready-made templates), and you can start testing.

Get started in less than 5 minutes with two free user tests. ? Start your free trial!

Or if there’s anything you’d like to talk to us about, please get in touch with us.

And if you’d like to find the perfect usability testing package, book a call with one of our user testing specialists.

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