What is Remote Usability Testing? Why is it Crucial?

Remote usability testing has opened a new horizon for software testing. Imagine an unknown user testing your website who has no pre-occupied thoughts about you and your business sounds effective, isn’t it? Let’s dig deep into the process.

  1. What is Remote Usability Testing?
  2. Why is it needed?
  3. When to Perform Remote User Testing?
  4. Moderated Remote User Testing
  5. Benefits of Moderated Remote User Testing
  6. What is UN-Moderated Remote User Testing?
  7. How to Run a Remote Usability Testing?

What is Remote Usability Testing?
Remote Usability Testing
Remote Usability Testing is a technological process that allows you to perform research of the participants, with the help of different tools and virtual vendor services of Remote Usability. This procedure plays a vital role in decision making and for the massive success of your product.
You can observe and grab the answers from real-life users by following specific steps:

  • Display your service or product in front of the participants
  • Ask them to complete different tasks
  • Carefully observe the participants behavior throughout the journey of test
  • Interact and communicate with them while they are completing the analysis

Why is it needed?

It is a unique set of test procedures that will enhance your ability to understand how real-life customers are reacting to your service or product. You can learn and improve their products exclusively for targeted precious customers.

It is a specific job to run remote user tests frequently for your valuable website. Most of the websites will be having their precious users scattered across the globe and therefore persuading the customers to do the remote user testing by visiting them personally could be a challenging task.

There are methods available to conduct the same test through well qualified online tools. It might take just 20 to 30 minutes that involves a few simple tasks. Since the users need not worry about traveling, but merely participate in the test from their home or office within their comfort zone, it is likely that they agree without much concern.

The remote user testing can be “moderated” or “un-moderated” according to the methods implemented to complete the tasks.

When to Perform Remote User Testing?

Certain factors make it inevitable to consider remote user testing. Let us analyze a few conditions that lead us to this conclusion:

1)  There might arise issues in managing the schedules which in turn will hinder the in-person testing, because of the timelines.
2)   The targeted participants are usually dispersed geographically, which makes traveling difficult and least preferable.
3)   The participants find it difficult to use a particular working device as per the software requirements.
4)   Multiple tests can be conducted potentially.
5)   The participants gave the flexibility to use their equipment or software essentially.
Moderated Remote User Testing
Moderated Remote User Testing

In Moderate Remote User Testing, Participants are carefully observed by interacting with them while they are completing the test and performing the given tasks. Moderate Resting could be considered as the ultimate choice for completing a structured complex set of tasks, where more interrogation and interaction will highly benefit the procedure. Following the guidance, steps need to be considered while conducting a moderate Remote User Testing

  • First, you should define the Remote User test and then decide the set of tasks that you will assign to customers to complete and also any other question as a follow-up process.
  • Schedule properly and inform the timings of the test sessions.
  • You need to understand the participant’s capability and provide enough space and time during the test sessions so that they can resolve the technology issues correctly without many complications.

Moderated Remote User Testing will allow you to assign the performance of multiple tasks based on the interview. You can ask the participants to follow up questions. Ensure that every person has completed the test. Check and analyze according to the plan.

According to the methodology or technology used, you can efficiently analyze certain types of metrics including time on task, completion rate of the task, the time is taken to complete the task, time taken for finishing a single web page, opinion or satisfaction rankings, and pathway covered by the clickstream.

Benefits of Moderated Remote User Testing
Moderated Remote User Testing is advanced and the best option with two significant advantages.

  • The first benefit that both the moderators and participants will enjoy during the moderated Remote user Testing is the ability to interact with the customers participating in the test. Moderators can ask to follow up questions regarding the comments etc.
  • The second benefit is the flexibility and complete control that accompanies the moderated Remote user testing. By this method, the moderators are provided control of the whole test session, and they can efficiently channelize and guide the participant, in case they are getting off track. You can eliminate or shift tasks according to the requirements.

What is UN-Moderated Remote User Testing?
unmoderated Remote User Testing

The researchers and moderators automate their study using a particular software program. The participants will be attending the test by performing a list of pre-determined tasks. The screen and the voice will be recorded, and they will complete the task by thinking out loud. Participants are the actual decision-makers regarding place and time. A virtual tool will be installed and used for participating, recording the test session and provide honest feedback.

Once the participants complete the tasks, the researchers will be receiving the recorded video results of the participants for review. Un-moderated Remote User Testing does not allow the researcher to communicate in real with the participants during the test. But the researchers can send follow up questions or just interact with the participants, after viewing the recorded test session.

How to Run a Remote Usability Testing?

  • If you are the moderator, it is essential that you define the Remote User test and decide the list and order of the tasks you plan to ask the participants to perform.
  • The next step is to determine the list of participants. Most of the un-moderated testing software tools will allow the moderators to recruit or intercept users from the own list of tool developers participants or select them from your Official website.
  • Prepare and determine the recording capability of the particular screen sharing service and keep it working for the test.
  • Choose the perfect contestants who are your targeted customers.
  • Include research questions with rich quality and analyze the feedback.
  • In case the participants have some visual defects or not familiar with the screen sharing services then make sure they are assisted by a person with knowledge of screen sharing tools.
  • Most of the un-moderated testing software tools will generate test results automatically for your analysis.


Remote User Testing is a wonderful combination of comfort and technology, which allows you to conduct the test for huge participants at much reasonable price rates. Every methodology of user research software has unique advantages and limitations. Therefore it is crucial that you analyze the different Remote User Testing tools and choose the one which is perfect for your research.

How Much Does Usability Testing Cost?

With the intensive competition, among the websites, applications, and software, it is extremely important to ensure ease of usability so that your users can easily adapt to your digital product. If the users find it hard to operate your software product they might lookout for an easier alternative to your product. To avoid such a situation you need usability testing. But How Much Does Usability Testing Cost? 

Let’s get into more details about usability testing and the cost of performing it and the overhead cost incurred when we do not perform it.
What is Usability Testing and Why does it Matter?
Usability testing is a software testing techniques that ensure that software product you have developed is easy to use. Usability testing is generally carried out by real users.
They are asked to accomplish a key task of the software, and their ease to accomplish it is considered as the usability test results. The purpose of usability testing is to validate and enhance the usability of the product or the flow of the task that the end-user uses to accomplish the task.
What is Usability Testing and Why does it Matter
For example, you own an e-commerce website. The key task of any e-commerce website is to let your customers search for their products and purchase it. The flow of the process might go like:
Going to the home page, searching for the required product or looking at the product catalog, reading the complete description, analyzing the reviews, maybe adding to the cart and finally purchasing it.
During the usability testing, we look for the blockers that prevent the user from performing these tasks smoothly.
In short, the main aim of performing usability testing is to ensure the user can perform the task or use our solution easily.
But why is it important?
Importance of Usability Testing
Usability testing is extremely important in the present world, where you have to compete with hundreds of users. If you do not provide easy to use solutions to your users, you already lose your race to them.
If the users will find it hard to use your product, they will turn to other options available in the market; hence you will find it hard to make your presence in this competitive world.
Cost of Usability testing
The cost of usability testing depends on various factors:

  • Platform Technology Costs

The cost of usability testing depends upon the platform required (desktop and/or mobile), features, and the number of users accessing the product concurrently. Many testers combine all these costs into one.
Commercial UX platforms testing varies between $1,000 to $100K for a simple web-based-only study to multiple studies for a prolonged period.

  • Competitive/Comparative Studies

If you decide to opt for comparative studies/testing, you might have to pay higher for usability testing. Your cost will ultimately increase with an increasing number of comparative products.

  • Cross-device knowledge

Testing Multiple Device Types: Mobile & Desktop
If you want to conduct usability testing on your product for multiple devices, you will have to end up paying more.
Mobile UX is different from desktop UX, so testing on multiple devices requires more time and more effort and hence more cost.

  • Larger Sample Sizes

In the case of larger sample size, like in comparative studies increases the number of participants for usability testing and recruiting costs.
Even single testing can require larger sample sizes if you go for multiple user segments. Hence the larger sample size means larger cost.

  • Participant Recruiting

The cost of usability testing also depends on Participants. Usability testing participants may charge you from a very trivial amount to a hefty amount.

  • Moderated Recruitment costs

Involving a well-trained and veteran moderator who would test the product in the corporate setup can incur you paying a high cost for well-trained and veteran personnel. A moderator can charge you between $100 and $300.

  • Unmoderated Recruitment Costs

If you chose not to use a moderated usability testing, you end up using various other sources like advertising, internal customer online panels, lists, and bulk email costs.
These sources too will add up to your usability testing cost. These sources have their own charges like online panels, range from $7 to $10 for general consumer profiles and can rise up to $40 to $100 for specialized profiles. Likewise, you will have to pay for other sources too.

  • International Studies

If you decide to carry out usability testing on an international level, you will have to pay more. Searching for international participants and their fees will both be added expenses.
Also, you will have to consider the cost of translating and re-translating the responses. Again the translation cost will be directly proportional to the study length.
Example For Usability Testing Costs
Though you cannot deploy any formula for usability testing, here are few examples of usability testing cost based on different budget:

Usability testing can cost you under $10K for an independent contractor that would conduct 5-10 moderated sessions. And if you chose the unmoderated study, an agency would conduct only the analysis phase for you.
These prices would keep rising as per your requirements and more extensive study for both moderated and unmoderated studies. The cost of usability testing can rise up to as high as $100K + for more extensive study.
What cost you might have to pay for not doing usability testing 
You might end up paying much higher cost if you chose not to carry out usability testing.
If your key functionality has even a single blockade that might prevent the users to accomplish the end task, you would have to end up reconsider your development phase and hence consuming more time and ending up paying more money. This complete rework process can cost you around $150K.
Now it is up to you to decide what is more profitable – to do or not to do usability testing!
Although it is believed that usability testing is both costly and time-consuming, but if we look at the benefits of usability testing, it is a better idea.
As we have already discussed above the not conducting usability testing means an extra of 4 sprints leading to an added cost of over $150K and a lot of time. This cost and time could have been saved to an extent by conducting usability testing.
Not only this, the defame and loss of trust that will come along with not doing usability testing is immeasurable.
Hence it is a better option to choose usability testing and get things to work smoothly.

Why Usability And Functionality Testing Is Crucial In Mobile Game Testing?

Have you ever considered how games are tested and released? The compelling mobile game testing system prompts a problem free and responsive gaming force to the end users.

The gaming business is evolving exponentially because of increment in applications utilization in mobiles. It is difficult to characterize a standard procedure for games testing techniques that should be custom-made as each game varies from each other. To begin with, aspects of Functionality and Usability must be analyzed.


Usability and Functionality testing are normal to a wide range of application testing. With the merging of the gaming and mobile technology, an exceptional and concentrated testing attempt is required.

Here we will specify how both the aspects work for mobile game testing.

Usability Tests

Humans are flawed. They may have bad eyesight or big fingers and tap the wrong key, misunderstand a command or pick the wrong interaction. All types of glitches will be found by your consistent application user thus you need to discover them before they do.

The usability test is performed for testing ease of use, navigation flow, and in the end, to check what sort of user experience your game has to offer. So, make sure that emulators and genuine mobiles are only used for testing. For instance, performance slowdowns are not at all difficult to uncover utilizing genuine devices. During the test, it checks interferences, how charger impacts to general performance and use, and battery consumption.


Also, to get the most ideal comprehension of how awesome usability and fun your game is offering ,it is vital to test the game for its execution as this will make either the positive or negative user encounter. These all significantly affect user experience – and greatly the user’s enjoyment level.

Apart from these fundamental purpose of Usability test is to

  • The buttons are set in a similar area of the screen to evade confusion to the end users.
  • The logical menus are not over-loaded since it must be utilized rapidly.
  • The app prompts the users whenever they begin downloading a lot of data which might be not favorable for the application execution.
  • The approval for the tapping zoom-in and zoom-out features ought to be equipped.
  • The app gives a strategy for undoing an action or going back, on touching the wrong thing, in an adequate time.

The rationale behind playing a game is only for fun reasons. Consequently, your games are relied upon to give entertainment along extraordinary user experience.Evaluating fun-factor demands some aesthetic imagination and critical thinking. Fun is conveyed just if every other part of the game cooperates accurately and it requires a great effort to achieve.

Thus, usability testing validates the effort and time needed so as to accomplish a specified activity and recognizes easily neglected mistakes. It includes user viewpoint testing, end-user interface testing, and user documentation testing.

Functional Tests

Functionality Testing is the most well-known type of game testing. Functional testing implies playing games to discover bugs.If done manually, it requires playing the game while the testing procedure is going on.It decides if the application is working as per the determinations.

Additionally, in some cases, automation is a reasonable choice in a few domains of functional testing.In the event that you comprehend your mobile application’s code, you can set up test automation system. Automated functional testing for mobile games can reveal issues identified with UI and graphics, game mechanism, integration of graphics resources, and resistance.

It’s a mind-boggling testing strategy under the classification of black box testing procedure. Sets aside more time to execute as analyzers search for graphics issues, game play problems, audio-visual issues, and so on. You have to get validations whether installation goes easily, the application works in limited mode, the application permits social media choices, supports payment portals, and much more.

The most crucial test situations in the functional testing can be considered to approve that

  • All the required obligatory fields are functioning as required.
  • The app goes into the minimized form if a user gets an incoming call.
  • The mobile can perform required multitasking prerequisites whenever it is important to do as such.
  • The installed app empowers different apps to perform thoroughly, and it does not feed into the memory of alternate apps.
  • The navigation between significant modules in the app is according to the prerequisite.
  • Perform Regression Testing to reveal new programming bugs in existing zones of a framework after changes have been made to them. Additionally, rerun earlier performed tests to confirm that the program manner hasn’t changed because of the changes.

While functional testing is dependably a fundamental action in mobile game testing strategy, the actual contrast between a successful mobile game and an average mobile game is realized by the significance given to the one of a kind characteristics and requirements of a mobile environment. Basically, end to end functional testing comprising of linear and non-linear action for your game is done to guarantee the executed functionality is free of bugs and uniform with your planned design.


Remembering the above goals, the game ought to have the accompanying attributes:

  • A complex or intriguing plot
  • Realistic graphics (including backgrounds, characters, and hardware) and sounds
  • Random plays to keep the player intrigued
  • Lesser known actualities to instruct the player
  • Facilitate players to manage as a team if it’s a multi-player game


Right from the starting phase, your prototype mobile game is out after generation, the testing steps start. The game designer’s part becomes dependent upon the prerequisites and proposals provided by the game tester. The project duties of a game tester are mostly divided into two parts: Firstly, identification and reporting of the game deformities.Secondly, assisting with its analyzing and verifying.

automation testing

Once the game is made after passing these types of tests, it is sent to entertainment organizations like Electronic Arts, Sony, and Microsoft for their review and production. Lastly, on the permission of respective Censor sheets of the game, it is prepared to be commercially launched.

How Usability Testing Benefits the End User

With automated testing and other latest technologies coming up, one may start considering usability testing to be remote and old school. Well, this is a thought that needs to be changed.
app testing
Mobile applications are on the rise, and now e-commerce companies are all shifting their focus on increasing sales from mobile applications and websites. This is due to the fact that the purchasing and browsing behaviour of the users are constantly changing. It has become very important to have a mobile optimised, mobile friendly, or a responsive design website, or even better – a mobile application, to attract the prospective customers.
Thorough Mobile Testing is a Must
Your product needs to be tested with the intended users throughout the lifecycle of the product for effective usability. This is where the concept of Usability Testing originates.
The main agenda behind usability testing for Mobile Application Testing is to test the ease with which the different user interfaces in the application can be used. It lets you know if the product or software under test is user-friendly or not. This form of testing is a black box testing technique or specification based technique. It gives you an idea about how the users would feel about your app, if they would be comfortable with the flow, layout, navigation, content, and speed in your application or website. It tests how effective the features are in providing a good user experience.

Read Also: 8 Ways to Make Usability Testing Simple

Usability testing for Mobile Testing basically tests the following features in your app:

  • How easy your software is in terms of usage
  • How easy it is to learn your mobile app
  • How convenient the users will find your mobile app

The following five are the major components in usability testing:

  1. Learnability

It defines how easy it is for your users to perform the basic tasks the first time they open your app, and how easily they can grasp and learn it based on the current design.

  1. Errors

This parameter lets you decide how many errors the users could make, how severe these errors could be, and how easy will it be for them to recover from these errors and get back on track.

  1. Memorability

Suppose the users do not use your app for a long period and come back to it after some time. In such a situation, will the user be able to use the design seamlessly and feel acquainted with it? Will he remember your app well enough to use it effectively no matter how long he stays away from it, or will he have to start all over again to settle down and learn your app?

  1. Efficiency

This describes how fast an experienced user could accomplish the various tasks in your app. It rates their efficiency.

  1. Satisfaction

This factor describes the user satisfaction after using your app. You get to know how happy the users will be and how much they like your app and its design.
In short, Mobile Testing Services and usability testing could be said to have the following benefits for the end users or your customers:

  • A software that is easier to use
  • The learning curve is shortened considerably for new users
  • The software becomes much easier to use
  • The software quality is increased multifold

Mobile Testing Services always insist on usability testing for effective user experience. This is because of the following advantages it has over all other forms of testing:

  • It is possible to modify usability test and incorporate all other forms of testing like smoke testing, unit testing, functional testing, system integration testing, and so on.
  • If you plan properly, usability testing can turn out to be really economical, highly effective, and totally beneficial in all aspects.
  • Usability testing proves out to be really effective in discovering potential bugs and loopholes in the complete software system. These may generally not be visible to the developers, and could even escape testing. But, usability testing can find them all.
  • If one uses proper resources, which are experienced and creative testers, then all the problems that the user may face before the final release of the system could be easily fixed. As such, you never have to release a system with errors and issues. This helps in a far better performance and also maintains a standard system.

If you are still wondering why you need to incorporate usability testing for all kinds of Mobile Testing Services, Mobile Application Testing, and even for a Game Tester, then here are 5 reasons that will surely convince you as to why you should never ignore usability testing before releasing your mobile app or game:

  1. In the Wild Testing

Testing the mobile apps in the lab test them in the most unnatural conditions. The users are all sitting upright holding the devices stiffly in their hands and browsing the app with no distractions. Above all, the internet connectivity, acoustics, and ambience are all set up for the perfect experience. Well, does anyone actually use an app this way? No, right?
Researchers have proven that 73% of the users use their mobiles in the evening, curled up on a couch or their bed. While 69% use it during office hours, 51% use it on weekends, and 42% use them while travelling. Lab based experiments and testing cannot give you proper insights for all these conditions. Testing with actual people gives you feedback in the most effective context of use.
Participants are invited to take a usability test in their own context of use for remote task based usability testing. This way, one can get feedback for real world situations and see the outcome of using a specific application or website.

  1. User Feedback is Distributed and Representative

Feedback from the intended audience is the most effective and most important part of all kinds of testing. If the participants represent the target users, then you could ensure that the usability findings are absolutely valid without any bias whatsoever. Remote unmoderated usability testing you can get representation for user segments from all across the world.
It is not tough to get responses from a sample of 10 to a few hundred representative users that could fit in to a wide range of different socio-economic and demographic segments from across the world. This would prove to be really effective for the success of your mobile app.

  1. Agile Methodology

Mobile Application Testing in line with Agile Methodology is the best way to make our app way more effective than you expect. Development organizations have started to finally migrate to lightweight or agile software development to develop and ship apps and mobile websites.
Before and after every sprint, you can ensure to execute remote usability studies. It can even be done during the prototype stage, until your mobile app is all set to be released out to the intended users.
The story does not end there. Even after release, it is important for you to maintain the user expectations and user needs. Remote task-based usability tests give you accurate metrics for these purposes. Being lightweight, it is easy to execute. This makes it the perfect part of Agile Methodology. With accurate statistics, you could keep improving and deliver the users what they require. Maintenance is also an important part of every app.

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  1. Quantitative and Qualitative Metrics

You get to obtain feedback all throughout the development cycle of your mobile app or website through remote unmoderated research methodology. Testing various versions gives you qualitative feedback on the early prototypes. It also tells you if the information architecture and content layout are able to convey the value proposition effectively and as desired.
Usability testing provides you easy test findability, effective and efficient metrics with all your prototypes or live apps and websites. Benchmarking performance gives you quantitative and qualitative feedback all through the development cycle and even after that. It also gives you an edge against your competitors.

  1. Resource Effective and Cost Effective

Usability tests on your mobile apps and websites do not consume much time or money. They are effective in terms of cost, resources, and time. The time required is almost half, and the cost is almost a quarter of those required in a usual lab study.
Lab studies could take around 2 weeks for planning and execution, and the cost is also high for incentives and set up.
As for an unmoderated remote usability test, one needs a week for planning, execution, and collecting data for about 30 to 300 responses. Besides being low in cost, designing and execution of usability tests is also effortless. Moreover, you also have the option to reuse already coded usability test plans.
One thing you need to keep in mind is that usability testing is a very wide area of testing. One needs to have a fairly high level of understanding to get in to this field, along with a mind that is creative and innovative. Patience, openness to welcome all kinds of suggestions and ideas, ability to listen to all suggestions, and excellent observation skills to be able to spot and fix issues are some of the most important skills that the people involved in usability testing need to possess.
Mobile applications have become an inevitable part of the human life. The world has become fast paced and consumer focused. As such, it is more important to offer the users a seamless and pleasurable usage experience. By using the unmoderated remote methodology and conducting user research researchers are able to get data right out of the real world for increased accuracy and efficiency. This helps you further in connecting with your users and growing your business.

8 Ways to Make Usability Testing Simple

People consider Usability Testing to be a costly, complicated affair that consumes a lot of time. Well, that is not the case. Testing for applications, apps, and interfaces are actually quite simple if you go the right way. It will help you make numerous changes to ensure your users are happy with the end product. You can easily formulate a DIY Mobile App Testing process that is affordable, effective, simple, and fast at the same time.
app testing
Usability Performance Testing made Simple
Here are 8 ways by which you can make way for easy DIY Usability Testing:

  1. Keep the situation informal

You can set up a testing area anywhere in your firm. Use a single email to list out the results of the process, use bullet points to point out the issues found, and keep it simple. You are testing a small number of people, so there is no need of collecting the statistics. Do not go for big reports with all kinds of details, both necessary and unnecessary ones.

  1. Early Testing

It is a common mistake to wait until the whole development process is complete to start the testing process. Spending money on testing at the early stages is not considered as an option by many. This makes it too late to be able to fix the relevant issues. If you start testing early, you could find bugs and ensure they are fixed before you go deeper into the development process. These tests are quite short, but help you considerably in the long run.

Read Also:  Top 5 Software Testing Trends to Look Out For in 2015

  1. Test a Small Number of People

Do not test too many users at once. The ideal number of people to test an app is considered to be three. It is an optimum number which will help you find more problems than the resources you have to be able to fix the issues immediately. In order to get serious problems, you do not need too many users for testing.

  1. Test Occasionally

Setting up a fixed date for testing every month is a good idea. This ensures that regular testing is done on whatever you are developing, even if much progress had been made or not. Bring in three people on a fixed date and let them test your application. This helps you schedule your tasks, make recruiting easy, and organize the whole process. Since you can already plan things ahead, there will be no interference to the development process due to testing. You can stick to milestones and need not wait for last moment feedback from the Software Tester.

  1. Focus on the Most Important Issues

It is important to categorize the issues found after testing. You are bound to get a huge number of bugs or fixes required. This number may even overtake the number of resources you have to be able to fix them. As such, it is important to select the most important issues from the list and work on fixing them. Some of the issues may not even matter much as far as the functionality is concerned, and you can omit them for the next release.

  1. Have Regular Conversation with your Users

The idea is to keep your users talking, and hear them as they think out loud. It often works like a therapy for the developers to work with the users. It gives them a deep insight about how users think, and their wavelength while using your application. This feedback is literally Software Performance Testing.

  1. Involve Everyone in your Mobile App Testing Process

Limit the number of testers to just three. But, be open to suggestions and feedback from everyone in your organization. Have sessions to make your application open for discussions by all. This can help you get various ideas, which can be highly creative and useful. It is very powerful if a number of minds come together to discuss a particular case. Have informal discussions at the table, and pick up whatever you find useful. Utilize them in the best way possible.

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  1. Stick to Tweaking

Problems should be fixed in the easiest way possible. Always stick to tweaking, and never go for redesigning. Make the simplest change you could do to solve the issue instead of trying your hand at maintaining perfection. Do only the least you could do. Redesigning consumes a lot of time and effort. In turn, tweaking is more cost effective and faster. Large changes take much longer, and could even break things elsewhere. Taking such risks is absolutely not worth the effort.
mobile app
Mobile App Testing Services help you bring the best out of your App by picking out bugs and making it the best in all possible ways. The main idea is to make your end users happy, and through usability testing, you can know how exactly this can be done.