Usability Test: How to?

Ekaterina Shafeeva
Sep 12, 2018 · 6 min read

0. Prepare the Logistics

This one is simple management, it’s better to deal with all organisational tasks early on. This way the main focus would be on the study itself, instead of searching for the mouse or keyboard, or buying software 5 minutes before participant coming in.

  • Software to record the sessions: choosing software for your budget and needs. My personal favourite is

1. Plan and Prioritise

The first thing to decide is what does the test cover.

2. Usability Test Script

When assumptions and flows are decided it is time to write a real test script for the study.

  • Critical Errors
  • Time On Task
  • Likes, Dislikes and Recommendations
Script structure example.

3. Recruitment

The first step for the recruitment is to decide on the right audience to test on. Prepare a screener (a set of questions) to define if the individual is the right fit for the study.

Choose wisely, the better target fit = the better context of usage!
  • Make at least 30 minutes break in between sessions.
  • Consider inviting the client or the team to observe the sessions.
  • Do not schedule more than 4–5 meetings per day, your health is more important than any usability problems.

3. Conducting a usability test session

Meet and greet your participant before the session to start casual and friendly. I prefer to meet participants myself (instead of the office manager) to help them with coffee/tea and chat a bit. It really helps to establish the connection and make the person feel more comfortable. When all small talk is over, that’s the time to explain what is the session about, how long will it take and sign recording permission or NDA if needed.

4. Synthesising

Task completion table.

5. Presenting results and happy ever after?

Presenting results to the stakeholders, team and everyone who is interested in the project is the final step. That is the moment when the team will decide which results from usability testing will be worked on and improved and which ones will be on hold for a while. Well, it is not over! New changes, new ideas, new releases and new usability tests to make the users happy. Iterate it all over again and see how the product evolve.

Mobi Lab

A team of designers and engineers sharing their passion for UX |

Ekaterina Shafeeva

Written by

Design researcher by heart, Product designer by day in Tallinn, Estonia

Mobi Lab

Mobi Lab

A team of designers and engineers sharing their passion for UX |