A recent article in Digital Web Magazine discusses the benefits of usability testing, and how to go about it to get the most out of each round of testing:
“The most critical aspect of user-centered design, usability testing breaks down the wall between the designer and user, and allows designers to see how real users do real tasks in the real world. There are many benefits of usability testing, including uncovering pitfalls in a current system before a redesign and evaluating the usability of a system during and after design.
Usability testing should be an iterative practice, completed several times during the design and development life-cycle. The end result is an improved product and a better understanding of the users that we’re designing for.”