Usability is much more technical than I originally thought. This bodes well for me since I work well with structure and processes. I have been learning about two types of usability testing this week, summative and formative. My challenge is to choose the best type for a certain company and I’ve wavered a bit on which one.
From my research it appears that summative is the most common form of research, yet a hybrid of the two types is common practice. Everything I’ve learned and read is that it is important to perform testing throughout the design phase of a website to discover any usability issues. This seems very logical to me but from my professional experience and research companies do not seem to find research very important. You would think stakeholders would want to save money but perhaps they are afraid research won’t provide valuable money making/saving results.
For the assignment in any case, I am leaning toward formative research as the winner. There is no previous site to test on (all they state is that they have a pdf), the site is past prototyping, they are on a tight deadline… it seems obvious to use formative testing since there has been no previous usability testing performed and the site needs to launch asap. I figured we could start with crude wireframes of the site as it is in development so far and use iterative testing before the deadline. This should provide us with insight on where usability issues lie. I hope so anyway!