Creating testing objectives and tasks
One of the most important steps when planning your usability testing is to create test objectives, develop tasks you want participants to perform, and design task scenarios.
Creating test objectives
Create test objectives you want participants to accomplish. Try to write objectives in as concrete and measurable terms as possible.
Commonly used objectives include:
- Time on task
- Percentage of tasks completed/not completed
- Number of errors/time to recover from an error
- Time spent navigating in search of information
- Quantity of information found
- Number of steps/clicks to complete a task
Once the test objectives are created, develop specific tasks you want the participants to perform such as:
- First impressions of the product
- First tasks users are likely to perform
- Tasks most frequently performed
- Critical tasks
- Specific problem areas
- Changes made from an earlier product version
Next, develop specific criteria that define success. For example:
- All users can open the file within three tries.
- 75% or more users can find the information on sample size.
- 80% or more users are satisfied with the ease of use.
Designing task scenarios
You can also provide test participants
with scenario(s) of explicit tasks you want them to perform.
- Goals: Test how easily a user can create her own electronic portfolio page
- Measurement criteria: The user can create her own electronic portfolio page within 15 minutes
- Tasks: (1) Go to the electronic portfolio Web site (2) Create your own electronic portfolio page. Use Help if necessary. (3) Post one document in the electronic portfolio page. Use Help if necessary.
See an example task scenario