Sometimes during development we argue about user interface elements. You can try to convince the developer about how to place controls on the forms to better organize the user’s workflow. But the truth is that it is very hard to know exactly what is better. Usually it is more about psychology and perception than about logic.
So how can you be sure? The answer is simple – test!
Just pick some random person near you, who is in a target group for your product who sees your product the first time, and ask to perform an action using your interface. And watch how he would perform.
In a few minutes you will be surprised by the amount of new information on how to improve an interface. People think differently than you usually expect. So there is no sense to argue about interface. Just test it.
Now the story
From some time, we try to make our product as user friendly as possible so we perform usability tests for them. (You can check out HDD Unlock Wizard software to see what does it mean).
As I mentioned in the previous post we have recently released a tool for undeleting files from NTFS volumes. We developed it pretty fast. And then we realized that no usability tests were made.
So we pick a fellow and ask him to recover deleted files using software. And you know what? Our application is capable of doing a lot of cool stuff, like working with compressed files and so on, but we got more than ten points how to improve it and what features are useless! If we made usability tests before the development, we would have a better product for now.
So, we will go for the second version. ;-)