Prototypes have to be tested with people to identify flaws, gather overall opinions or collect recommendations. This is called usability testing. Broadly speaking, there are two ways of testing usability: expert-based and user-based.
- Expert-based usability testing. In this kind of usability testing, experts on design or the subject the technology is designed for are conducting the usability evaluation. They use their own knowledge about good design, the target group or the subject.
- User-based usability testing. Here, the test is performed with potential end-users.
Usability tests can be used for several purposes, for example, to observe how an end-user interacts with the system, to test the ease of use and user-friendliness of the technology, or to assess whether user requirements are correctly translated into the design. Information on these kinds of topics can be used to improve the technology.