Usability testing:
Hands-on qualitative research for digital and technology

Japan is one of the world’s hubs for digital and technology innovation and usability testing (UX) is critical for evaluating website design, optimizing app functionality, gaming product adaptations, and digital devices.

UX and digital research is increasingly a focus of our work with clients. We’ve employed usability testing in the digital arena for a wide range of products and services, including laptop and computer sales websites, credit card payment systems, gaming products, on demand entertainment platforms and digital cameras.

japanese woman using mobile

Our usability interviews can be viewed as in-depth interviews (IDIs) in our central Tokyo or Osaka facility (with or without interpretation) or conducted “in situ” in respondent homes or another non-viewing venue (where we can combine the usability interview with an ethnographic approach).

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Your stage in product development drives the design

The (UX) research design is completely tailored and depends upon where you are in the development of the product. In the early stages, you may wish to be more wide-ranging in your takeaways (including needs and wants, pain points, visual preferences and functionality, comparison of your concept to competition). At this point, you may not even have an actual digitalized “dummy product,” but rather use animatics for testing.

Further along your development curve, you will likely have a near-market-ready product to evaluate. At this point, we will help you develop an interview guide that is task-driven, with respondents’ actual mouse or keyboard actions recorded and analyzed so that your designers can make further refinements. In fact, often we facilitate the designers’ interaction with the respondents during the interview itself.

Our approach to usability testing is customized - always

Just as with all of our qualitative research work, assigning the “right” moderators to conduct your usability interviews is key to ensuring quality results and meeting your objectives. This means they have experience in the category in Japan, and that the moderator is appropriate in terms of being able to create common ground with the respondent. For example, when we’ve conducted usability studies with Japanese video gamers, we deployed interviewers who are experienced with gaming, and also are age- and gender-appropriate.

Our experience with usability studies allows us to advise you with confidence as to how to phrase “task assignment,” and also how to organize the questioning flow so that it is logical and easy to follow – from the viewpoints of both the respondent and reporting output.

Number and length of interviews are determined by your specific objectives

As always, the number, design and length of usability interviews is determined by your specific market research objectives, but usability (UX) interviews typically range from 1.5-hours to 2.5 hours in duration.

We are happy to recommend the most effective and targeted approach for your objectives, budget and timeline.

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