As augmented reality’s use cases expand with new developments and capabilities, usability testing couldn’t be more critical. Many consider the end user from professional, personal, and recreational standpoints.
- Understanding the current state of augmented reality
- Learn why usability testing is becoming crucial for all AR experiences
- Dive into the many benefits of usability testing
- A breakdown of the challenges usability testing brings for the AR space
- How to approach handling usability testing for your own AR projects
When news about AR technology started to make major headlines, most people only looked at its capabilities from an entertainment standpoint. The potential use cases for AR are much vaster than you might think. From small tools and features that benefit our everyday lives to immersive entertainment experiences bound to capture audiences, AR has long-term potential from multiple angles.
Usability testing considers multiple facets and focus points regarding AR projects. To execute and generate the best results possible, user flow and feedback testing are also part of this process. For the world to see further advancements in the design and overall implementation of AR tech, extensive usability testing will be needed to keep the technology moving forward.
Regardless of the niche of an AR application or experience, factors like onboarding, user guidance, and challenges in usability are all important. Effective usability testing that delivers actionable results takes time, persistence, and an understanding of AR tech and your audience.
In this article, you’ll get a direct look at the importance of usability testing and why it’s so crucial for developing various types of AR experiences.
Understanding usability testing
Augmented reality and technology, in general, isn’t the only type of product that requires usability testing. Through evaluating a product by testing it with real people, usability testing can provide ample insight into how it works and what might need to change. It’s important to understand what usability testing truly is so that the key benefits make much more sense.
What is usability testing?
Going through this process can provide many unique data points that can help you improve the product. It’s a proactive measure that can aid your AR experience in being the best it can be for your users. Although usability testing can be helpful with nearly any product, it’s especially vital for tech like AR as it’s still heavily misunderstood by many users.
You must find what’s user-friendly about your AR experience and what users struggle the most. Newer technology will always come with a learning curve for some people, but your product or experience should still be designed to be use-friendly. By deep diving into what works and what doesn’t with your AR product, you can develop better immersive experiences for your users.
Key benefits of usability testing in AR
You’ll find numerous benefits to usability testing augmented reality experiences. Although developers can have some hindsight into what users might need, you won’t get the full scope of this until you hear from the users themselves. Some primary benefits can include better discoverability of AR features in your application, more responsive control functionality, and an overall improvement in user participation.
However, many other benefits show themselves in the long term if users’ needs are continuously addressed. You can do this by collecting actionable data from usability tests, which can be an off-and-on process depending on the release of new AR products or features. Other primary benefits found in usability testing AR include:
- A more seamless user experience
- Identifying flaws and delivering prompt solutions
- Enhancing user satisfaction across the board
Some AR projects can be more convoluted than others but offering universal experiences require testing on numerous fronts. This calls for the help of a seasoned team of developers, something that Shockoe is more than happy to help with.
Don’t forget to review our first-hand experience with augmented reality projects by looking at our many unique case studies. Nevertheless, usability testing has its fair share of challenges, some more difficult to manage than others.
Challenges of usability testing in AR
As with most types of technology, the challenges to make it an outstanding product or experience seem to come with a never-ending list. Nevertheless, you can take different approaches to them and come out winning.
Main challenges of usability testing in AR include:
- Prototyping the product/experience
- Navigating the user’s understanding of augmented reality
- Physical fatigue is a part of the equation for many users
- Considering the context and limitations of all users can be difficult
These are simply some of the main challenges that come with usability testing of any AR product. Of course, this isn’t all of them, as many other considerations should be made from the users’ point of view.
For a usability test to be effective, especially when considering so many different angles, you need to know what you’re trying to accomplish from the test. When you see the light at the end of the tunnel, you can navigate a usability test more successfully. With the help of user flow testing, user feedback testing, and many other related methods, you can create an AR product that’ll stand the test of time and make an impact on the end user.
Work with those who truly understand usability testing
This article may provide some actionable insight on handling usability testing, but working with the experts can ensure nothing gets missed from start to finish. Shockoe has years of extensive experience in developing AR experiences for a wide range of customers and industries.
Each project requires a unique approach to its customer base, the AR tech, and the experience clients want to bring to the world. Reach out to us to discuss how we can aid the development of your AR project while guaranteeing usability tests run without a hitch.
Sign up for the Shockoe newsletter and we’ll keep you updated with the latest blogs, podcasts, and events focused on emerging mobile trends.