While quality assurance testers have always provided usability testing feedback as “part and parcel” of their everyday QA testing, they have also begun to branch out and provide more specific feedback. As part of this, QA testers are employing some methodologies that differ from their usual QA testing practices:
These are meant to address everything that the respondents (testers) are expected to both accomplish, and to know about the project. Usually instructions are vehicles to discussion and collaboration. For usability testing, these are meant to cover all the tasks to perform, including admonitions not to interact with other team members so as to keep feedback as unbiased as possible.
Exit questionnaires must be completed after all usability tasks are completed (or in phases during multi-phase projects). QA testers rely on a seven-point scale with a breakout option (“don’t know/can’t rate”) to allow for elective non-responses. Questionnaire items are written with an eye toward reducing any implicit bias in wording or phraseology.
Demographic data collection
For the moment, this isn’t a very big item for QA testers, but it is something that they’re prepared to provide if it’s requested. Given that testers work in a lab environment, they don’t anonymize their responses by default, but they can do so if asked, or if requested demographic data would be reasonably considered sensitive.
Screen recordings of software
Testers can capture videos of how they interact with the software being tested for later review. This can be done with our without audio. Screen recordings are kept short and used to illustrate activities that may merit further scrutiny and consideration rather than recording potentially multiple-hours sessions. This way recordings are kept to a manageable size and length.
As always, please contact us if you have any questions, are interested in more information regarding our usability testing methodologies, or are interested in engaging our testing services for one of your own projects.