Usability testing is a method to evaluate an interface of a product or service with real people. Ordinary people try to complete tasks and are being observed by researchers. The goal is to understand UI problems and experience flaws.
Usability testing comes in many forms: casual cafeteria studies, formal lab testing, remote online task-based studies and more. However you choose to carry out your testing, you’ll need to go through these five phases:
- Prepare your product or design to test
- Find your participants
- Write a test plan
- Take on the role of moderator
- Present your findings
Write Better Qualitative Usability Tasks
Writing good tasks for a usability study is an art, not a science, but there are still rules. Examine your tasks for these 10 common task-writing mistakes:
- Telling Users Where to Go
- Telling Users What to Do
- Creating Out-of-Date Tasks
- Making Tasks Too Simple
- Creating an Elaborate Scenario
- Writing an Ad, not a Task
- Risking an Emotional Reaction
- Trying to Be Funny
- Offending the Participant
- Asking Rather than Telling
Tip: Start with the End Goal
Test Your Prototypes: How to Gather Feedback and Maximise Learning
Once you’ve built your prototypes based on the ideas you and your team generated, it’s time to gather feedback from the people on whom you are testing these. Optimising how you gather feedback — and, therefore, learn from your prototypes and users — is essential to help you save time and resources in the Prototype and Test stages of the Design Thinking process – and in any other human-centred design process. Being quick and efficient allows you to move rapidly from creating a prototype, to putting it out to test it, to gathering feedback, and finally to creating a new and improved iteration of your ideas. To maximise learning from your tests, we will share six best practice tips on how to gather feedback, as well as three methods (with downloadable templates!) on how you can organise your feedback.
Downloads for testing sessions
Usability test script, Recording consent form, Checklists, List of things the facilitator can say while the participant is doing the tasks, Instructions for Observers, Hall Monitor’s Guide, Demo test videos.