User Experience (UX) service

Usability testing

Usability testing is evaluating a product or service by testing it with representative users.

What is it?

The primary goal during testing is to identify any usability problems with a product or service.

Typically during a test, participants will try to complete common tasks while observers watch, listen and takes notes.

When to use

Conduct usability testing:

  • early - before any development is undertaken
  • regularly - at key stages as you product or service evolves

Read our case study of using usability testing: IS Helpline UX collaboration

How to

Rocket Surgery Made Easy

Our go-to source for usability testing is Steve Krug’s Rocket Surgery Made Easy. The book takes you through:

  • when and what you should test
  • who to test and how to recruit
  • picking tasks to test and writing scenarios for them
  • conducting the tests

It’s a relatively short book and doesn’t take more than a few hours to read.

Rocket Surgery Made Easy book information on Steve Krug’s website

Steve Krug’s website also offers a series of helpful downloads, including a test script and recording consent form.

Usability testing downloads on Steve Krug’s website

Further reading

Using Media Hopper to conduct usability testing

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