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Why you need User Testing & how to perform it on a budget

B91b8beceeb0616068efa91f33e652fa?s=47 Thomas McClure
February 27, 2015

Why you need User Testing & how to perform it on a budget

A short (10-15mins) talk presented internally at The Tomorrow Lab.

Link to video at the end -


Thomas McClure

February 27, 2015


  1. Why you need User Testing & how to perform it

    on a budget
  2. Types of user testing There are two types of user

    testing: • Summative test - looks at an existing system, either as a prelaunch check or analysis of a site you’d like to improve. • Formative test - conducted on an unfinished system to gain insight on how to improve the design
  3. Why should you perform user testing? • Gain insight •

    Support design decisions • Provide insight into what didn’t work • Helps stakeholders view the project from a users perspective
  4. How many tests and how many users? 5 users 3

  5. How to perform your own user testing

  6. Recruitment of users It’s best to target users that would

    sit within your target audience. Timeline for an e-commerce website: 1. Ask company for a subsection (typically 1000) of their customer base e.g. people who have bought from them within the past 6-12 months. 2. Email this list and explain that you’re recruiting users for testing purposes. 3. Schedule sessions in-person or online with the respondents.
  7. On the day This is relevant to in-person testing rather

    than remote testing. Before • Be organised. • Have a list of participants and tasks printed off. • Use Silverback to record both the screen and user (webcam) as well as audio. • Have a PC mouse available. With the participant present • Make it clear to the user that you’re testing the site and not them. • Ensure the subject thinks out loud.
  8. What to ask When you’ve decided what to test it’s

    time to write a test script containing the tasks and questions you’ll ask users to perform. Tips: • Never ask yes/no or leading questions, only ask open-ended questions. • Avoid verbs e.g. “Search for a Canon DSLR camera” will direct users to the search box. • At the end of the test ask the participant for her general opinions.
  9. Other methods of user testing

  10. Remote testing Synchronous • Like face-to-face, this form of testing

    is live. You share screens with someone and speak to them at the same time e.g. Skype Automated • These don’t require direct moderation: you set up user testing projects on sites like
  11. Rapid Iterative Testing and Evaluation (RITE) • Amend the prototype

    between tests when you notice a usability issue rather than waiting until the end of a full round of testing. • Good if you are short on time and budget as you can immediately test an improvement with the next user.
  12. User testing in action


  14. @thomas_mcclure