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The Power of the Usability Lab

Whether you are implementing a call center program, developing a product line, or instituting a process within the organization – usability testing is a vital step for the successful deployment and adaptation of any solution.

Usability tests come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but at the end of the day it is a measurement of a user’s ability to complete a task.

A few examples of these tasks would be

  • A customer navigating through an IVR system, ultimately being transferred to and serviced by an agent
  • A supervisor utilizing an agent performance tool to rate the quality of their staff.
  • An agent answering a call and navigating within a CRM & knowledgebase desktop to efficiently service a customer.

While the users in the examples above play completely different roles in the customer service experience, each has something very in common. They are required to perform a function or a set of functions utilizing a solution.

The user experience is often considered through the solution lifecycle, though through the development and deployment stages, human factors can be lost for a variety of reasons. Developers, Engineers and Management are required to become thoroughly familiar with a solution, know the workarounds and how it is “meant” to operate, unknowingly stepping over potential usability issues. If you have not watched someone use your solution, you are taking shots in the dark. You do not know if all the effort you’ve put into perfecting your project is making things better or actually worse.

Recognizing this, SYKES has made a major leap forward in developing our usability testing process and wanted to share with everyone our success.

The corporate facility has been equipped with a fully functional Usability Lab. Great thought was put into the features needed, which include both a lab and observation room separated by a 1-way glass mirror. Within the Usability Lab, you will find equipment necessary for executing any type of test, whether the end user is a customer, a supervisor, an agent, or whomever is required to execute a task. We have also developed documentation and project templates that may be used for the preparation, execution, and analysis of your test to eliminate the guesswork. While this lab is located in Tampa and the end-user must be physically on-site to gain the full benefits of the lab, distance observation is possible so you can have remote members of your staff listen and watch in on the tests performed.

The value of SYKES usability lab goes beyond the data that is collected. As you observe the test in action, you get to see first hand users actions and reactions. This valuable interaction focuses your attention on solving the real problems. If you have any questions or would like to request more information on using the lab, please reach out to us at usabilitylab@sykes.com .