Hackernoon logoHow to Prepare for Usability Testing - Part 2 by@avrorashuhalii

How to Prepare for Usability Testing - Part 2

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@avrorashuhaliiProduct Designer

How do you know if your users understand the interface of your product? How do you know whether it is easy for them to complete their desired task, and whether the interface meets user expectations?

Usability Testing can answer all these questions.

Before you start reading this article, I advise you to read the first part, where I describe how to properly prepare for this study.

In this article, I'll give you recommendations on how to conduct Usability Testing and document the process.

3-4 Days before the Usability Testing

Before testing, it is worth making sure that you have organized access; this means that beforehand, you should check:

If this is an online meeting: 

  1. Your camera and your respondent's camera are working. Provide your respondent with the basic requirements prior to testing and include the option to have the camera turned on;
  2. The gadget that will be used during testing must correspond to the sizes of the models and the goals of Usability testing. If you're testing Desktop, ask your users to use their computers or laptops to answer the call;
  3. Make sure that the editor or application you are using to make video and audio recording works well. It is recommended that you make a note during testing to review the testing process again and make sure you haven't missed anything. Also, video and audio recordings are important to show to your team members;
  4. Request and obtain permission from the respondent for video and audio recording of your meeting;
  5. If your project is under NDA, discuss this point with the manager and, if necessary, ask the respondent to also sign a non-disclosure document.
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If this is an offline meeting: 

    1. Check that your camera that you will use to record the meeting is working well.
    2. Make sure the user is in a natural environment. Do not give users additional external interference.
    3. Negotiate permission to record the testing process with the respondent.
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Proof-of-concept testing

Before testing on your target audience, I advise you to conduct a pilot testing. In fact, this process looks like real Usability Testing, but you can conduct it together with your colleague as a respondent.

The proof-of-concept testing will help you understand if you have missed a question, or if there are any problems with your prototypes.  

During running the Usability Testing

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The first thing to remember is to follow and reference your research checklist. Introduce yourself, ask a couple of common questions and tell the respondent what will happen in the next 5-30 minutes. Remember that people can be worried, talk to them politely, and don't forget to offer a glass of water.

Second, and very important, tell about the research rules. The list should certainly include: 

  1. Speak your thoughts out loud. Some users are initially embarrassed to speak out loud, then you can help them a little by asking the question “Tell me what you see on the screen”.
  2. Warn that you will not prompt. If you prompt, then you risk getting distorted data.
  3. Ask users not to be afraid to say that they don't understand something or they don't like something.

Third, give the task to your respondent and observe. Record every step of the user, transition to another page. If you notice unusual behavior of the respondent when interacting with the interface, write down the question and return to this page after the user completes their task.

Documentation

Don't neglect the documentation. After conducting a survey with respondents, you want to immediately start implementing the best user experience.

But it is the documentation that will help you figure out what changes need to be made now and what chnages in the next version of the site. The documentation will help you prioritize tasks correctly. Also, in the future you can return to your records if they are still relevant for the introduction of new functionality in the next version of the site. 

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What the research documentation consists of:

  1. Lead-in. What is this research about? How long did it take? Why was this particular type of research chosen and not another?
  2. The purpose of the research. Why did you do this research? What data did you want to receive?
  3. Participants. Who participated in the testing? Who did the testing? Provide a list of respondents.
  4. Tasks review that the designer gave the respondents. Also, you can add a description of why these tasks were selected.
  5. Received data review or received metrics. Depends on whether you carried out qualitative, quantitative research methods or both at once.
  6. Additionally. Positive or negative quotes from your respondents.

After you've documented Usability Testing, you can show the results to your team. Together, you can prioritize tasks and get started.

If you are looking for free templates for your Usability Testing reports you can use Figma User Experience Processes Templates.

Conclusion

Usability Testing is a good tool to better understand the behavior of your target audience. You can check and evaluate whether users understand the interface, find product weaknesses and test your hypotheses.

Before doing your research, it is worth preparing for it. Try not to avoid doing proof-of-concept testing in front of real respondents. Proof-of-concept testing can help you find gaps in your prepared Usability Testing script.

Remember to tell your respondents about the rules before testing.  Be attentive when your users complete the tasks. Try to document your research at least in small details, as documentation can help you prioritize tasks.

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