Observing representative users carry out representative tasks using a system (for example, your data visualisation tool), and recording any issues that come up!
Ideally, there’s a participant (a user to test your system), facilitator (that might be you), and observer (let them take notes).
A quick overview
A critical part of evaluating something that you’re designing and developing is to observe real users using it.
It isn’t about getting the test participants to design it for you. It also isn’t about finding out whether something is a good idea (i.e. whether or not you should put development effort into some feature). That is another thing altogether, and really part of an earlier phase of exploration and learning in the design process.
In essence, usability testing is pretty simple – find things that trip people up in the interaction design…
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