Usability tests are meant to find usability problems. If your question is, “where are the usability problems in this design”, usability testing is right for you. With usability testing, can study how well someone can get from point A to point B and where are the problems along the way. Finding usability problems is the focus, and the method works great.
But, we are finding that many of the questions business sponsors and stakeholders have are not about finding usability problems. The questions they have are more about the overall usefulness of a design, its potential for success, and how well it meets expectations.
This presentation will define usefulness research, show how it is different from usability tests, and offer different approaches for asking the right questions of users. Whether you think this is slap-your-forehead obvious or a method that needs to be expanded and refined, we seek to have a lively conversation.