Thursday, December 14, 2006

Web Site Usability Testing And Expert Usability Review: Which Is The Best Solution?

When to use usability testing vs. expert review ...

"One question we're often asked is which method is best: usability testing or expert usability reviews? Well, if they were sports cars, expert usability reviews might be a Porsche (pretty decent car and better than no car at all), but usability testing would be in a different league, namely Formula 1.

So, what's the difference?

• An expert usability review is when a usability specialist inspects a website to identify potential usability problems

• Usability testing involves getting people from the target audience to evaluate your site whilst performing tasks

They're quite similar in many ways in that both:

• Find and prioritise usability problems

• Evaluate designs in the context of tasks

Do they find the same problems?

The answer depends on how precisely you measure this, on balance no, not reliably. Generally speaking, expert usability reviews tend to find high level breaches of design rules and consistency. Usability testing is better at finding issues related to special domain knowledge and task flows."    (Continued via Robin Good)    [Usability Resources]

Usability Testing vs. Expert Review - Usability, User Interface Design

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