The difference between usability testing and user testing boils down to “can they use?” versus “do they need to use?”.
User testing primarily occurs before a product has been created to determine if the demand for it exists and to inform/inspire the team as to what a finished product might look like. User testing might involve asking questions such as “if there were an app, tool, or system that did this task for you, would you use it?”.
Conversely, usability testing determines if a product is usable by its intended market. Usability testing typically occurs after user testing and after one or more prototypes have been created. It’s a much more practical exercise that surveys how individuals use the product in order to understand how quickly users grasp its purpose and whether or not they can use it as intended.
A usability test plan is an outline for how a usability test will be conducted. Its purpose is to organize the process, goals, and findings of a usability test for a product, feature, tool, or software.
A test plan predominantly focuses on interview logistics. Since time tends to be limited with those being interviewed, it’s important for the usability testing itself to be efficient and for researchers to go in with a clear understanding of what to do and how to do it. A usability testing plan is the best way to align the team and obtain as much valuable information and feedback as possible. You can get started with this free usability testing template.
While usability tests show how your product might be used by new or existing customers, it’s not a perfect process. The limitations of usability testing include:
The contents of a usability testing template will vary for each product and project, but some universal usability testing template elements — all of which are featured in our template — include:
Examples of questions asked in a usability test are:
Since there are many steps to a usability testing plan, utilizing Qatalog’s workflows allows you to automate the process for the future — when you come back to test another element of the product.