Although web sites are most widely associated with Usability Interface ("UI") testing, any product that is "used" by a consumer or business may be explored to understand the user's experience with it...
REALeResearch has vast experience with product usability research, since 1985:
- eReaders: hardware & interface
- Mobile Phone hardware and interface (Nokia)
- iiTV interface (interacive TV / T-commerce)
- Apps for iOS, iPad, Android, RIM and Symbian (i.e., Toyota, Amazon, Lab126, NQ Mobile, Schwab, Nokia, NBC, Gogobot)
- Computer wrist rests
- Laptop and eReader cases' design
- Children’s toys
- Product instructions
- Text-to-Speech "voice"
- Laptop security locks
- Tools used in autopsies
- ...many other products...
Usability Testing may be performed at any point before, during or after a product is developed to ensure it is intuitive to use.
Regardless of the type of product, well-conducted usability research will capture honest "user-centric" feedback - both in terms of the users' actions (or lack thereof), their motivations behind their actions and their level of satisfaction with a product/interface. Issues (perceived or real), will be revealed and these problems may be remedied - ultimately saving the product developers time and money.
Including user feedback in the design process creates products that people feel confident using and reinforces their positive impression of the brand/product...
Oftentimes, product/Web developers are too close to their product to see potential problems, seen by the unbiased eyes of a user.
Users do not always understand or agree with the designers’ intent, and may find that the product design/content is confusing and/or they do not use the product’s features as the developers had envisioned.