Studies are a huge part of evaluating usability - they enable us to understand how a product is performing and how well-received it is by users. Here at Nectar we are big on formative studies as they help us identify and resolve usability issues, enabling us to make the design process as smooth as possible.
Used during the early stages of the design process, formative studies analyze the UI to identify any potential issues with the UI early in the design process. This in turn enables us to rectify any issues early in the design and development process. Formative studies guide the rest of the design process, as they enable you to filter out different design features until only ones that will benefit end-users can be chosen. As they are formative, these studies combine to move the iterative process forward; as the team discover more potential issues, they can collate these findings to guide further development.