Assess technology

Gathering usability testing data

STEP 6. Conduct the usability test

During the test

  1. Greet the participant. 
  2. Administer the pre-test survey, if you created one.
  3. Ask the participants to complete the task scenarios
  4. Collect data using various observational methods for usability testing
  5. [more]
  6. If using a test monitor:  Take detailed notes of what users do and say, and take pictures or screenshots when users have serious problems. (This requires another person in addition to the monitor.)  Videotaping or screen recording (e.g., Camtasia ) performs these recording tasks automatically.
    • Remind the participants to think-aloud
    • Avoid influencing participants by providing information or indicating right/wrong behaviors or mistakes
    • Intervene (stop and/or guide) when the participant is struggling a lot or far off track.

After the test

  1. Thank the participant
  2. Collect additional data:  If you want to obtain additional or more specific feedback, choose one or more of the following options. 
    • Administer a post-task or post-test survey.  A post-task survey is given immediately after a certain task is completed in order to gain specific feedback of a task or how participants’ perceptions change over time.  A post-test survey gathers feedback on participants’ overall perception of the product.
      • Post-test questions may address:
        • Satisfaction
        • Ease of use
        • Comments/suggestions
      • Example of a post-test survey
    • Conduct interviews or focus groups to gain further product feedback
    • Debrief.  A debriefing is similar to an informal interview in which the monitor asks questions about the testing process to gain further feedback from the participants.  The goal of this step is to clarify and understand the problems the users had during the testing process. 

Page last updated: Sep 21 2011
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