Perfecting Your Usability Studies

Even experienced usability practitioners make mistakes while running test sessions, which can impact the participant and the data. Improving your testing methodology can bring huge gains for a relatively small effort.

This 82-page report presents 186 tips and tricks for running better usability test sessions. These tips derive from decades of running our own studies, and from studies run by others. 
The goal of this report is not to teach the basics of user testing; rather to increase the effectiveness of those who already know the basics. Perfect your testing skills and methodology so that you’ll get the best results in any situation.

Topics covered

  • A rundown of the common mistakes that usability practitioners make when running test sessions, and how to avoid them
  • Planning the study
    • How to test on a minimal budget
    • Finding good participants
    • Making sure participants show up
    • Writing good test tasks and scenarios
  • Performing the test
    • Running the session
    • Testing with experienced users
    • International usability testing
    • Remote moderated and unmoderated testing
    • Testing in Lean UX and Agile Environments
  • Reporting and communicating test results
    • Debriefing and aligning with stakeholders on findings
    • Report format and content
  • Working with external providers
    • Hiring a usability professional
    • Assessing the quality of a usability testing firm
  • Politics of usability testing
  • Ethics of usability testing

Related Courses

For hands-on training in conducting usability studies, see our two full-day seminars:

  • Usability Testing: This course covers the essentials of planning, conducting, and analyzing a usability study.
  • Remote Usability Testing: This course focuses specifically on the techniques required to run a usability testing remotely, using either remote moderated or remote unmoderated approaches.