Sunday, October 10, 2010

Post-release usability testing

I've often said that everyone does usability testing - but some do it post-release.

These days most organisations tend to do usability testing, at least of important functions, before release. I was surprised, therefore, when Crust Pizza (who do very nice pizzas, by the way) updated their online ordering with a flaw that prevents it working on the iPad - surely an increasingly typical device from which to order. As you can see from the images below, there's a scrollable area in the middle of the screen from which to "customize" one's pizza. This is bad enough on a regular browser (as many people will not notice the scroll bar), but on the iPad the scroll bar doesn't appear at all.

Of course Crust will eventually become aware of this problem (although there is no mechanism to contact "head office" from the website, people can contact individual franchisees). But it is rather an expensive and public way to conduct usability testing.

1 comment:

  1. Usability testing is referred as the attempt to find any human-factor issues with the system at hand. It is not testing functionality, design, coding or architecture but the ease of use that the system must have for it to be used to the best of its capabilities. It includes ergonomic considerations, screen design, standardization, etc.

    As you can tell you are never truly done even after the project is released. There is always room for improvement if required by the client and a window of time to ensure the correct functioning of the system even if it is related to its usability. It is good to remind you that usability testing should be performed before the release; in the other hand many usability issues are not identified until after the release date.