The Value of Video Testing for Usability

May 24, 2017In Web Design3 Minutes

We all know the power of qualitative testing. Employing platforms to determine the best user experience and using focus groups to target the ideal user to manage the testing process can provide a valuable but all too ‘hands-off’ approach to testing. Perhaps the most powerful method of testing is the one that is right under our noses.

Video is all around us. It’s become one of the most effective drivers of conversion, provides optimal UX and delivers an immersive brand experience. It’s no surprise that this platform can be used as one of the most effective forms of usability testing. It’s safe to say that digital video has become an important component of successful usability testing sessions, with the benefits to prove.

User and UX researcher performing video recoded user interface testing session.

Accuracy

Using digital video to record usability tests provides increased detail on the evaluations, providing insight to intricacies that might have gone unnoticed. An in-depth understanding of the user journey and the impact a design has on the users is seen at every touchpoint.

Play-Back

By taking and archiving videos for usability testing, libraries can be accessed at any time to refine designs or to make updates incrementally. With apps and websites requiring updates to meet technology requirements, a digital video archive is becoming essential.

Real-Time Access

Videos can be watched in real time for immediate observation. There is nothing like seeing an immediate reaction – whether it be positive or negative to uncover what elements evoke strong reactions to an experience.

Authenticity

There is nowhere to hide on video. A user is at their most ‘true’, offering up an unedited version of their reaction to a digital environment. This is the best way to learn about the “why” behind KPIs such as conversion rate, time of each task and cart abandonment.

Usability testing, at its core, provides insights to improve pain points and provide an optimized user experience. The methods in which they are delivered themselves – are not created equal. Even sites and apps that feel they have a solid understanding of their experience and their users may not have employed all the tools to assess multiple user sets and demographics. Video testing for usability is and should be an essential component of gaining a comprehensive view of a digital product’s usability factors.

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