Are there any good reasons not to do usability testing?


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Are there reasons for not doing usability testing? If you have been reading other posts on this site I think you might answer no. There can be several occasions when you should not do usability tests.

Of course you should do usability testing, but think twice about what and how to test, it takes time and you engage other people.

Be sure to test the things you need to test, with focus on improving the user experience:)

I will go through four reasons that is important to take into account before you decide to do a usability test. Your intention is to test the right things, right? And you does not have all the time in the world to spend on testing? You don’t even have a lot of users that are willing to do a lot of testing? If that is the case, I like to point to some factors you should take into account before you begin testing.

  1. Don’t perform tests to get  confirmation on things you already knew, it’s waste of time. Sounds obvious but it’s not unusual.
  2. Be clear about what you wan’t to test. Testing everything on the site gives few answers on a lot of questions. It’s better to do several smaller tests, with focus on different parts or functions on the site. It gives more concrete input for improvements.
  3. It’s great to hear what users think about your colours and photos but it might be more important to focus on the process of completing a purchase and other functions on the site. Visual impression is important to but it should not be the only thing you test and get feedback on. Build your test on core functions on your site, things that “is the business” on your site.
  4. How do you know that your improvements work if you don’t test them?

I hope you found some value in this post and that it is useful for you when you wish to improve the usability on your site. You should do usability tests, but not for the reasons above. You can read more about usability testing here.

If you have some ideas of your own to complement this list, please leave a comment below. I look forward to get your input:)

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4 Replies to “Are there any good reasons not to do usability testing?”

  1. I am working on my site for three months already and I still in quandary why things doesn’t work well.

    I found your tips helpful and informative.

    I really have a hard time to figure out which one work’s best unless you do usability testing.

    Maybe you have a point that I am testing wrong things. I will try to evaluate again what things going wrong.


    1. Thank you for the comment, it is important to think about first: why are my users visiting my site, what do they need help with. Second: how do they find it? A quick test you can do is asking some family member or friend to test. Just set upp some tasks, for example: read and comment on the post about ZZZ. Another task might be to find a specific category or subject to read about, within you sites context. If you observe him or her, you will see what works and what does not work, it shows directly.

      If you don’t mind, get back here some time and tell me how it ended up:)

      Good luck!

  2. Hello,
    i think usability should be tested for every single thing. Personally i like to test every work of mine, and especially if that work involved other people in the process. Many times in life happened that things that i considered to be working did not work. So to prevent looking like fool, and to prevent inconvenience, i suggest usability testing on everything that you sign with your name. Quality will pay off, eventually.

    1. I agree with you! Things we develop that are supposed to be used by people have to be tasted so they work for people and their needs. I have been through several projects there it haven’t been time to test or making prototypes… Guess what? We spent a lot more time in the end of the project correcting things that did not work for the users. So I learned it the hard way AND from my studies in usability and both point in the same direction. Thanks a lot for your feedback!

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