How To Plan The Stages Of Usability Testing?

Effective designing is a key focus area in most organizations today. And in order to create products that the users can relate to, it is essential for companies to conduct user & usability testing.

While most companies ensure they carry out the tests, what they don’t realize is that they could get incorrect results if they speak to the wrong users, or test with the wrong number of users. Most importantly, if you don’t know what you’re testing and why, you will never truly conclude the research finding. To avoid such deep situations, the most crucial step in the usability testing phase is to PLAN things thoroughly.

Here are 6 crucial steps every company should follow during the planning stage:

<rich-h2>Set Your Goals Right From The Start<rich-h2>

<rich-para>Before you dive into the design phase, have a clear talk with all your stakeholders. Drill down each feature/process & prioritize what needs a review. Categorize the said goals & break them down into different groups & remember to define metrics based on previous app or industry standards.<rich-para>

<rich-h2>Prepare Tasks For Your User Groups<rich-h2>

<rich-para>Just like proof-reading means nothing if one doesn’t actually do the reading, similarly, usability testing is nothing without the actual tests carried out. If it’s a structured test, prepare about 5 to 10 tasks for your user groups to perform within a set time-frame. Design questions/survey based on the goals.<rich-para>

<rich-para>Example: My user has to do [Task] to [Goal they will reach]<rich-para>

<rich-h2>Evaluate A Resource Audit<rich-h2>

<rich-para>Recruiting the right set of users before beginning any task helps you evaluate & audit the resources like time, money & design capacity that can create impact on your result & outcomes. For example, if you bring in some strangers for testing who have zero knowledge about your product or category of products, it might impact your test plan in terms of completion of tasks as well as cost you time in explaining the basics to them. Imagine getting an e-commerce product tested by a person who hasn't shopped online before. (a total brain-wreck right?)<rich-para>

<rich-h2>Select A Method For Usability Testing<rich-h2>

<rich-para>There are different approaches to testing your users. We’ve listed 3 types for you:<rich-para>

<rich-list-item>In Person: Tester is directly observed and interacted with during the testing session.<rich-list-item>

<rich-list-item>Moderated: Tester completes actions but is observed & engaged remotely.<rich-list-item>

<rich-list-item last-item>Unmoderated: The user completes the task online on an online tool that monitors the reactions & collects data accordingly.<rich-list-item last-item>

<rich-para>(Note: Unmoderated Remote Testing is what users prefer the best because of the time constraints and the level of freedom that it gives)<rich-para>

<rich-h3>Bonus Points For Moderated Usability Testing Set-Up:<rich-h3>

<rich-list-item>Testing plan should be ready well in advance.<rich-list-item>

<rich-list-item>Users should be made comfortable.<rich-list-item>

<rich-list-item>Testing script must be thoroughly followed. (helps the moderator be polite and concise)<rich-list-item>

<rich-list-item last-item>Moderators should observe the non-verbal user behaviour for additional insights.<rich-list-item last-item>

<rich-h2>Choose A User Recruitment Type<rich-h2>

<rich-h3>There are 3 user recruitment types that are majorly used:<rich-h3>

<rich-list-item>Hallway testing: Asking anyone passing by to participate.<rich-list-item>

<rich-list-item>Existing users: They provide the best reference base for the product/feature to be tested.<rich-list-item>

<rich-list-item last-item>Market research recruitment: The best, but most expensive way to recruit.<rich-list-item last-item>

<rich-para>When it comes to how many users one should test, usability experts believe that the golden number is 5 users. The ultimate user experience is improved much more by 3 studies with 5 users each than by a single monster study with 15 users.<rich-para>

<rich-h2>Prepare Your Testing Space<rich-h2>

<rich-para>Choosing the right testing environment is essential. For in-person testing, prepare the studio with the required set-up. In case of remote moderated tests, make sure the users feel as comfortable as possible. As for unmoderated tests, selection of the right software is crucial.<rich-para>


<rich-para>Planning is a golden process. It can save you time, money, energy & most importantly, get you the best results in Usability Testing. If you do it, do it right!<rich-para>


Effective designing is a key focus area in most organizations today. And in order to create products that the users can relate to, it is essential for companies to conduct user & usability testing.

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