Usability is an often discussed part of design, but it seems to be very poorly understood. While most people understand the concept of usability, many people don’t know how to use it in their workflow, how to get started with their testing, or fail to see the benefits it has for them.
In the past usability testing meant huge labs, huge budgets and long timeframes. With the rise of the internet has come the rise of a number of remote usability testing tools that meet a wide variety of needs and a wide range of budgets that have made usability testing far more accessible to the point today where even the smallest design studio and freelancers can afford to usability test.
The point is now that you almost can’t afford not to usability test. Clients design better results, designers and developers have more exacting standards, and users will keep looking until they find a design that just works – you just need to look at the rise of Apple, the iPod, iPhone and iPad to see examples of this.