Formative vs. Summative Usability Studies

the UX experience

In this week’s assignments, our material covered different types of usability studies, and the appropriate ways and times to perform certain tests. Overall the focus was formative vs. summative, including a business brief assignment to justify why a certain type of study should be conducted in a given scenario.  I found the readings to be informative, but the most helpful was Chapter 3 of the Handbook of Usability Testing which provided the graphic (included here) displaying the types of test correlated to the development cycle.  This is extremely useful in being able to visualize how each type of test can contribute to the overall design and development of a highly usable product.

Life Cycle Testing GraphicWhat I found to be somewhat confusing was that the other readings on the topic (blogs and articles) only referred to formative and summative and did not include validation, verification or comparative. There was also some conflicting information…

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