Template — Usability testing plan

julian-ohnacker

Julian Ohnacker

August 14

qatalog-usability-testing

Intro to usability testing plan

Usability testing is the process of gathering feedback on a product, design or message by directly observing users’ going through the experience. Users are asked to complete tasks, typically while they are being observed by a moderator, to see where they encounter problems and experience confusion.

You can use this template every time you need to gather customer feedback on a new product, feature or messaging produced.

This template is for anyone in the organization that needs to gather customer feedback, and can be used especially by product managers, designers, researchers or marketers.

Get started by making a copy of the ‘Template’ section, and by creating paragraphs/bullet points for each step of the workflow. You can customize the process as per your company.

Template

Step 1—Define the scope of the research

  1. Write a short paragraph on the goals of the research. Include:
    • What do you want to get feedback from? (e.g. comprehension of new home page copy)
    • Which customers and journeys are you researching about?
    • Which teams and stakeholders will it affect?
  2. Write a short paragraph about the type of testing to be conducted.
    • How many interviews do you need?
    • Are you going to conduct remote or on-side interviews?
    • Will the interviews be moderated or unmoderated?
    • How long will each interview take?
  3. Write the questions you’d like to ask to participants.
  4. Write a short paragraph about the participants.
    • Who is the ideal participant profile?
    • How are you going to source participants? (e.g. recruitment partner, personal network)
    • What is the budget for sourcing and incentivizing participants?
  5. Write a short paragraph about the production logistics.
    • Set clear timelines for each deliverables
    • Set starting date and deadline
    • Define expected rounds of feedback/revision
    • If needed, give specifics on key stakeholders and how feedback is gathered/given

Step 2—Pre-interview logistics

Write a checklist on what each stakeholder will do prior to the call. Examples can include: 

  1. Facilitators will prepare the test environment with dummy data and test scenarios
  2. Facilitators select participants, and reach out to them via phone call, whatsapp or email
    • If interested, participants will be sent an email with a Zoom link (wider team in CC)
  3. 10 minutes before the test, facilitator sends an email to participant with links to:
    • Test environment
    • Login credentials (email, password)
    • Brief instruction of the test (if applicable)

Step 3—Interview logistics

Write a checklist on what each stakeholder will do during the call. For example: 

During the call, the team will cover two roles:

  • Moderator: only person who joins the call with video/audio, and ask questions
  • Note taker(s): people from a wider team who join the call with no audio nor video, listen in throughout the session, and take notes. They can communicate with the moderator to prompt supporting questions through a separate (Slack) channel.

Ensure the moderator runs makes the participants at ease before the interview. Having an introduction script to do so can be a powerful tool.

Interview introduction script example

Hi [name], thank you again for taking the time to participate in this study. 

My name is [moderator name] and I’m helping [name] and the team with usability testing some of our new products.

Do you mind if we record the session?

Before we begin, I’m going to give you a brief overview of the test and how it will work. This session is pretty straightforward:

  • We’ve sent you an email with a couple of links and we’ve prepared a few simple tasks for you to complete
  • It’s really important to know that we are only testing the site, not you. You can’t do or say anything wrong here.
  • We’ll be testing a product which is currently under development and not all of the elements are fully working at the moment, so if something doesn’t work as expected that’s not you, it’s probably us :)
  • Also, I’d like you to “think aloud” as much as possible. By that, I mean that I’d like you to speak your thoughts as often as you can. 

Please feel free to let me know at any time if there’s something you like, dislike, if you’re confused, etc. I promise you won’t hurt my feelings.

For example, you may be looking at a page, suddenly see something you didn’t see before and want to click on it. In that case, saying something like “this caught my eye so I’m going to see what it is” would be very useful.

If at any point you have questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. 

Do you have any questions so far?

Ok, Let’s get started.

Interview Assets

Examples

Intro
questions

Which questions can you ask your participants before jumping into the testing?

  • What are your challenges related to using this {product}?
  • What's your daily schedule looks like?

Test Scenario

Which questions will you ask to give context to the UX task?

  • Imagine that your company uses {product} in order to {value proposition}.
  • Imagine that your friend sent you a link to this landing page, and you'd want to sign up for this product.

Task 

Which questions will you ask to as part of the UX task?

  • Please visit https://www.whatismybrowser.com/ (link in email)
  • Please log in to the test environment with the details provided via email.
  • Please explore the website as you’d usually do and speak aloud what you see.


In case users feel stuck, here's some sample questions to get them to think aloud.

  • What do you think you can do with this?
  • How would it be useful or not useful for you and the team?
  • Who do you think this is for?
  • How would you compare this to another tool?
  • In your own words, how would you describe Qatalog?

Post-task

questions

Which questions can you ask to wrap up the task?

  • What did you like about the product? And what did you dislike?
  • What’s the main challenge with the product?
  • Do you have any questions for us?

Outreach Assets

Template

Outreach email

Hey [name]

Thanks again for your time earlier today. Excited to get your thoughts on what we’re building!

As mentioned earlier, here’s a link to book our UX testing session [calendly link].

At our video call, we’ll send you a link with an easy task to complete. No need to prepare anything, just make sure you have a good Internet connection.

Should you have any questions prior to our meeting, feel free to let me know.

Speak soon, and thanks again for your time.

[name]

Pre-interview email

Hey [name],

Looking forward to our UX session soon! Please join us on this Zoom link when you’re ready.

[Zoom link]

Once we’re connected, we will go over a few simple tasks.


Task 1: Please share your screen and visit https://www.whatismybrowser.com/

Task 2: Please visit the website below

  • Website
  • Email: insert email for test environment
  • Password: insert password for test environment

Task 3: Please visit the link below

[test environment link]

Should you have any questions, feel free to let me know here or via phone call (my number is below). Speak soon, and thanks again for your time.

[name]

Thank you email

Hey [participant name],

We really appreciate the time you shared with us today. It was very insightful and useful!

As a thank you, we’d like to give you this {product} voucher for £25.

Thanks again,

[Moderator name]

Step 4—Post-Interview logistics

Write a checklist on what each stakeholder will do after the call. Examples can include: 

  1. Moderator resets test environment if needed
  2. Moderator and note takers will gather the notes from the interviews, add them to a (Notion) database, and share with the wider team via a email or Slack

Step 5—Insights gathering

When all the interviews are concluded, create a slide deck on the back of the learnings uncovered. Make sure to include:

  1. Context of the research
    • Goals and objectives
    • Areas of testing
    • Logistics: number of interviews, participants, and links to resources
  2. Learnings overview
  3. Learnings deep dive (for every question/product/messaging tested):
    • Screen grabs 
    • Customer quotes from interview notes (split in positive, neutral, and negative remarks)
    • Specific learnings

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This template was inspired by the Qatalog Team.

If you want more templates to share and track your work, request early access to Qatalog here.

julian-ohnacker
WRITTEN BY

Julian Ohnacker

Julian is the Head of Design at Qatalog. He has a track record in designing digital brand experiences, award-winning campaigns and product design with global brands and startups. When he’s not designing, Julian is most likely busy with one of his DIY projects or traveling around the world.