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Usability testing

Benefits of Usability testing

It is quicker and cheaper to improve usability from the start rather than trying to fix and improve usability later. Testing for usability provides:

  • real user experience data from which developers can learn much about actual user experience of websites, software and materials
  • feedback from users on their usual method of approaching websites, software and materials and whether what is being tested meets their expectations 


It is crucial to schedule the testing into the production cycle so that feedback can be incorporated into final versions while the changes are still feasible.  This means testing should start as soon as possible.  If the testing involves student participation, then you will need to apply to the Student Research Projects Panel.


IET Core service

Usability testing is one of the core services provided by the Institute of Educational Technology to the University.  Module and programme teams are encouraged to use this service early during module (course) production so that their products for students are as user friendly as possible when they are made available.

The Jennie Lee Research Labs include two labs which are used for usability testing (Human Computer Interaction Lab 1 and Human Computer Interaction Lab 2).

For a description of usability testing, please read the Usability testing case study.

Contact Us


Telephone: +44(0)1908 332422

Jennie Lee Research Lab enquiries
Institute of Educational Technology
The Open University
Walton Hall
Milton Keynes

The Jennie Lee Building is on the left of the campus map.

Jennie Lee Research Labs Enquiry form