How to Conduct Effective Usability Tests

By On 24, Mar, 2011 |  In: SEO | Tags: , ,  | 0

A usability test basically entails observing an individual while he is using your website. It is a planned approach with designated guidelines to help you infer how you can improve your product or service. Since the participants of the test are going to be general users, it is extremely necessary to design it in such a way so that the person taking the test doesn’t feel uncomfortable or intimidated in any way.


You need to prepare yourself to conduct the test. Prepare a draft listing the questions that you would like your participants to answer for you and the tasks that that they will need them to perform in order to answer those. You can take help of SEO specialists to design the test. Briefing the participants about your requirements before they begin the test will help you maintain an organized approach.


Conduct dry runs of your test before implementing. It will help you judge the level of the test’s functionality and reveal any loop holes. You can use the dry run results to perfect the test flow and polish the final draft for the test.


Since there are a lot of variables in any usability test, it is a good idea to inform and educate the test participants on what they should expect while taking it. Maintaining flexibility and eliminating unnecessary technicalities from the test flow will put participants at ease. Communicate to the participants in the most casual manner possible but clearly inform them of your expectations.


To some participants, being watched while using a website or an application for the purposes of the test may feel like an invasion of privacy, especially if the test requires them to share personal information. You need to assure them that any personal data they might share will be kept absolutely confidential. Remain interactive throughout the session and above all, try to put participants at ease.


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