Creating a user testing plan is one of the most significant steps in successful usability testing. Without a carefully curated plan, your usability testing may not deliver the insights that your project requires. A successful user testing plan ensures that your experiment will stay on track and provide the required results for your project. Read on to find out about our key steps to writing a good user testing plan.
- Ask the Experts
Creating a user testing plan is an important task which carries significant negative impacts if not completed correctly. It is therefore essential to utilize the services of a leading experience research and strategy consultancy group when considering usability testing.
Significant research must be undertaken before writing a user testing plan that will yield actionable results. This includes addressing essential considerations and critical questions such as:
- Who is my audience?
- What should the experience involve?
- What should the experience look like?
- What does success look like for my business?
Leading experience research groups provide years of experience in creating individually tailored and comprehensive user testing plans across all industries.
These experts can guide your business through the key considerations to address before conducting user testing. They can also assist you in identifying and answering the important questions required to deliver an outstanding user experience for your customers or clients.
- Consider your Objectives
The types of questions that you ask your test group should be directly related to what your overall objective from the testing experience is.
Your objectives in a usability test will differ dramatically based on what stage your product or prototype design is in.
The goal of usability testing is to gather as much feedback as possible as early as you can.
However, placing too many tasks or questions on one individual group is likely to lead to confusion and incorrect results.
It is therefore vital to narrow down your objectives throughout each stage of the design and development process.
For example, once a prototype has been delivered, you may choose to focus your testing on a specific action such as “can users navigate the home page?”.
If you’re dealing with the development of a complex website or application with multiple functions, we suggest running a series of usability tests which each focus on an individual aspect of the overall design.
- Determine your Methods
The two most popular methods of usability testing are ‘Moderated User Testing’ and ‘Online User Testing.’
Moderated User Testing: Moderated user testing is conducted in a private environment and consists of a one-on-one interview with a prospective user.
The user is required to complete specific tasks on the application or website prototype while the interviewer observes.
This form of moderated testing is incredibly helpful when attempting to observe and cater to specific behaviors or preferences of users.
Online User Testing: Online user testing utilizes a broader geographical scope and a more extensive range of participants than moderated user testing.
The test is also conducted within a person’s natural home or work environment, rather than in an on-site facility.
Online user testing is incredibly useful to capture a diverse range of participants and to observe how users experience the design within their natural environment.
Many user testing plans will incorporate a combination of these two primary forms of testing.
However, their use and success as a form of research will differ dramatically depending on when and how they are used in the broad cycle of a product’s development.
- Identify Your Test Metrics
There are several different metrics that you may decide to collect in the course of a usability test. It is therefore essential to narrow the scope of the parameters you wish to receive, to provide accurate and relevant results that are based entirely on your objectives. Popular metrics that you may want to include are:
- Success rate
- Time for completion
- Subjective measures (self-evaluation by the participant)
Creating a user testing plan is essential before pursuing usability testing. Usability testing can be an expensive and time-consuming task. It is therefore important to plan early and thoroughly, to ensure that you receive the maximum amount of accurate feedback from your test participants.