What are Usability Issues? Do they Matter?

Dec 27, 2017 · 2 min read

Teams are often sensitive to issues that users encounter while using their product. While they may do a round of usability testing and have a range of findings there are a couple of questions that arise.

Usability Issues

  • Behaviour that prevents task completion
  • Behaviours that take users off course
  • Frustration expressed by employees
  • Missing out on intended targets
  • Feeling of completion when it is not
  • Performing an action that is away from task success
  • Misinterpreting some piece of content
  • Choosing wrong links

Identify the real issues

While testing it is often the case when only one participant out of 10 may face a particular issue. Before giving in to the itch to solve, do check:

  1. If the issue encountered happened more than once, is it likely to repeat
  2. How critical is it to solve this problem, does it impact business ? Is it valuable to users ?
  3. Were the participants decision making, reasoning and behaviour logical ? If he can’t explain what he did it is most likely an off case.

Look out for these

  • Verbal expressions of frustration, confusion or surprise
  • Indecision expressed
  • Not saying or doing something that they should have done or said
  • Non-verbal behaviours like eye movements, facial expressions

Consult your UX team on

  1. Planning the user test, keeping a check on what to look out for
  2. While the best results are from in-person observations even automated tests can be analyzed for issues
  3. Issues must be given severity based on frequency, impact on business and performance
  4. Analyzing your findings based on frequency of issues or categories of issues
  5. Prioritising your findings so you can tackle critical issues first

In Conclusion

There are numerous, quick and easy ways to identify usability issues in a product. Having a great UX partner will help you effectively plan, observe and get the best out of each usability test.

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Originally published at monsoonfish.com.

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