Pose tasks and questions to your users to see how successfully they can interact with your product or prototype.

👥 10 and more | ⏰ days | 💪🏼 high effort

Objectives

A usability study focuses on a user’s ability to achieve a goal or complete a task while using a product or prototype, and gives a sense of whether a user will find the provided functionality helpful or attractive.

These studies generally fall into two categories—remote or lab— depending on whether the study participant and moderator are performing tasks and receiving feedback in the same location (like an in-house facility) or separately (via web interface or phone). This method should produce recorded notes, audio, or video that the team can later analyze for opportunities to improve the existing experience.

Who is involved? 

Moderated usability studies require a recruiter to find participants that are willing to be interviewed while using the product either in-person and in the building or through webcam; a moderator during the usability test, to issue instructions and follow-up questions; a note-taker or video recorder to jot down interesting remarks or observations; and a team to synthesise the results and determine next steps.

How is it done? 

  1. Create a testing script for instructions that the moderator will follow during the session, including tasks for the participant to complete or questions to answer. Don’t be too detailed, however; moderators can course-correct when needed during the session.
  2. Ensure that the product or prototype is fully accessible to the participant, either via an in-house device or through a network outside the building.
  3. Recruit participants who are either willing to come in-house and sit with the moderator, or have the necessary equipment to receive and record audio and visual remotely.
  4. During the sessions, have the moderator run through the test script, but also deviate when interesting remarks or observations have been made; have the note-taker listen into the session, or record for later usage.
  5. Sit down as a team when all participants have been interviewed, and synthesize results to see whether the product or prototype was successfully usable.

Source: 

https://www.slideshare.net/almingwork/nyt-product-discovery-activity-guide

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