How Much Does Usability Testing Cost?

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.