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How to conduct a usability test?

Usability testing is checking the usefulness of a design before starting to build it.

Duration

Depending on sample size, usability testing takes around 1-3 weeks.

Complexity

Advanced

Contributors

UX designer, UI designer, User researcher, UX writer, Product manager, Users

When?

usability  testing is conducted during the design and development phase of a project, after the initial prototypes have been developed. 


Getting Started

Usability testing aka UT is making the actual people try the designs to check if they are able to use it or not. Basically, it’s a process of evaluating how easy it is for users to interact with a product, website, or software application.

UTs are important milestones in the iterative design process.  Design is iterated till UT results show acceptable quality. This method brings in user’s feedback into the product design process and makes the design ‘user centric’ in true sense.


How to?


Required Participants

Participants play different roles in UTs


Types of prototypes used

Prototypes used for testing depend on the type of project, for example


Types of Usability tests 


Do’s & Don'ts

 

Do’s

Don’ts

  1. Be clear on what needs to be tested.

  2. Plan in advance.

  3. Get the right participants

  4. Have a few extra participants if some drop off at the last minute.

  5. Do a dry run before actual tests.

  6. Give clear instructions before the test.

  7. Make users feel comfortable before starting the test.

  8. Plan some incentives for participants.

  9. Plan the test such that it gets completed in set time.

  10. Complete the synthesis soon after completing the tests.

  1. Don’t plan too much in a single test.

  2. Don’t keep software or any other setup for the last minute.

  3. Don’t prompt or over instruct the users.

  4. Don’t overwhelm the users.

  5. Don’t use the exact same words from UI to describe the tasks.

  6. Don’t interrupt users during the test.

  7. Don’t forget to make notes.

  8. Don’t forget to record the session.

 

 

Templates 


Suggested Tools 

For Preparation & Planning

For Conducting Tests

For Synthesis & Report Making


References 


Other Related Best Practices