Detailed steps (in-person)
Define your topic for investigation (questions or assumptions).
We will only cover recruiting for real time, conducted tests here. See our recruiting guide for more information.
3. SET IT UP
Schedule a testing session with each person. Have your tasks, equipment (recording etc) ready. Get any prototypes and products ready for testing. If remote, you will need time to build your test and your script, plan at least 2 days for that.
Define the assumptions or questions you want to test. Build up a way for users to test those through tasks to complete or just have them walk through your product as is. For remote, not in real time, you will have to build out the full script. For usability a more detailed and planned script is required.
For all usability testing you should be asking the participant to think out loud. This can be a challenge for first time participants but is an important part of usability testing. Guide them with hints such as ‘tell us what you are thinking now’ and ‘please share your thoughts as you are going through it, we want to hear how you make sense of this, your perspective is important for us’.
Debrief on the observations. With a full understanding of each participant’s experiences, synthesize all observations and create patterns over time to understand a blended (but not “normalized”) picture. Extract key findings: what did the user do well? What did they struggle with? Why? What was surprising or unexpected? What assumptions were confirmed? Use anomalies and edge cases to push your own product concept. Avoid confirmation bias by forcing yourself to move beyond your current product concept. Ensure your team is present for this.
Create a concise summary document that highlights the key learnings and insights along with your recommendations for improvements.