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Usability testing planning

Planning for and building usability testing into the project plan is essential to designing a positive user experience. The usability testing goal is to understand how users interact with the application and improve the application based on the usability test results.

Usability testing involves interacting with real-world participants — the application users — to obtain unbiased feedback and usability data. During usability testing, you collect both quantitative and qualitative data concerning the user experience. Quantitative data is generally the most valuable. An example of quantitative data is: 73% of users performed the given task in 2 seconds or less.

Sometimes qualitative data, such as a user’s opinion of the software, is also collected. An example of qualitative data is: 67% of users tested agreed with the statement, “I felt the app was easy to use".


Effective usability testing involves typical users of your application. This is critical in making usability testing work. Usability testing cannot be substituted by working with project managers, project sponsors, stakeholders, or business architects.

The importance of usability testing

Usability testing validates the ease of use of the user interface design, so that time and resources are not spent on developing a poor user interface. Usability testing is done to collect valuable design data in the least amount of time possible. The output of usability testing helps identify usability issues. To make the testing effective, establish goals before you start planning.

Goals to set

Set measurable metrics or key performance indicators (KPIs) for quantitative testing. Some examples include:

  • Reduce the number of steps to complete the approval process by 10%.
  • Reduce the number of errors on a given transaction by 20%.
  • Reduce response times throughout the application by at least 30%.

Usability testing performers

Usability testing in an enterprise environment is a serious task. The best person to perform is someone who has experience conducting these tests with end users and documenting the feedback. Pega offers assistance with usability testing and recommends that you engage with Pega to review all screens before developing them.

When to perform usability testing

Usability testing is conducted periodically throughout the software development life cycle and can help identify issues early in the software development life cycle.

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