How to prepare a User Testing Report for your Client

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Photo by Headway on Unsplash

“I’ve taken a brief look at the report — can you give me a quick run down on the results?” — Client

It’s important to keep your report lightweight and follow lean design principles so that it doesn’t slow down your process. After all, the tests are just a means to an end of improving your site experience.

Introduction

Summary of key findings

Whilst aiming to keep the report short, it’s a good idea to make room for an executive summary. Including this slide right at the start, shows your client the most pressing two or three issues that came from the round of testing. Even if a client or the stakeholders read nothing else, they still learn this key information.

Who you tested with

Summarise the demographics of the users you tested with and how many there were. Usually, I try to capture as much information as possible that I feel the client and stakeholders may find useful.

Conduct five test sessions

The rule of testing with only five users is a solid one that has always stood me in good stead. Testing five users will help you find up to 85% of the core usability problems in your product. You learn a lot from the first person you talk to, a little less from the next, and so forth. After the fifth user, you’ll observe the same findings repeatedly, but won’t necessarily learn anything new.

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You only need to talk to five users to find 85% of the core usability problems.

User Story Tasks

Once identifying who you tested with, I usually identify the tasks that the users tested from. If working with a client it’s good practice to run this by your client beforehand — I usually share a Google Doc with my client early in the piece to ensure they are kept abreast on the evolving user flow script.

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An easy to comprehend visual aid will help your client interpret your findings

Key Issues and Takeaways

The main focus of this report is to identify key usability issues. Items that make this list are usually tasks that caused the most frustration to the user — you may find these items are reported more than once.

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Identify your bugs and usability issues and order them by severity

Top user likes vs dislikes

Whilst conducting a user testing session, a variety of odd bits, bugs and usability problems can arise that hadn’t been accounted for. It’s good practice to additionally capture this feedback — especially positive feedback as it’s easy to get lost in the problems and negatives!

Additional Advice

Pre-test questions (optional)

Additionally, a lot of remote user testing platforms offer the opportunity to survey participants before (or even after) the test. These questions can be of varying usefulness, but any chance to gather a bit of extra detail from real-world users should be taken. Use it as an opportunity to find out a bit more about them.

Capture each user session

Recording each session is a great way to capture accurate results. I usually set up a small tripod with a mobile phone/camera. This way I can refer to the footage at a later date to double and triple check on each users findings. As I mentioned earlier- it’s almost impossible to keep all of your findings in your head.

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“I’m recording the testing the of product, not you. No need to worry about making any mistakes. And please don’t worry about our feelings. We want to improve our product and we need to hear your honest reactions.”

Follow ”Think Aloud Protocol”

When moderating the testing, always ask the participant to think out loud. The think-aloud method is critical for getting inside the user’s head. It means asking the user to speak out loud everything they are thinking, so you can gain insight into the thought process behind the user’s actions.

“While you’re using the product, I would like you to think out loud. Just say what you’re thinking, what you’re trying to accomplish, what you expect to happen after an interaction, and so on.”

Tips:

  • Even when people are thinking aloud, sometimes they experience problems with verbalising their thoughts. That’s why you should ask clarifying questions if something seems unclear or you think there’s more information a test participant can share.

Get the template

If you are interested in seeing a real client User Test Report of mine, I’ve included the PDF report and the Sketch working file, which you can get a hold of here and customise as much as you’d like.

Written by

Designer @EnabledHQ in Adelaide South Australia. Focused on product and UI/UX design. Specialised in humanizing User Experience. http://www.thejoshrogers.com

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