Posted on DEC 23, 2020
Usability tests can be time-consuming and daunting, but the best UX designers know how to craft and run them effectively. Avani Miriyala, owner of a prominent UX/UI design agency in Austin, TX has had a lot of experience with usability tests and narrowed the process down to 9 steps.
At AMSD, the team believes that failing to plan equates to planning to fail, and the first step they recommend to plan effective usability studies is to set a date. Failing to do so would be like planning a wedding without setting a date for the ceremony; nothing will get done that way. UX/UI design agencies recognize the importance of organization and getting all the boxes checked, and that is why their design team allows itself to spend as much as 3 weeks to plan a usability test.
The second step in planning effective usability tests is to find a moderator or research team: a third party who will conduct one-on-one interviews with the participants of the study. The moderator will handle aspects of the study like the equipment or the venue so that the UX/UI designer can focus on the design.
The next step would be to secure an interview space. This step might not be required if you are working with a research firm; but in case you are not, the easiest solution could be to rent a space in your area. While these first few steps can get pricey, it creates a better product in the end. There are also ways to run the usability test on a budget.
The fourth step in organizing an effective usability test is to have the prototypes ready. You can utilize products like Azure or Principle to create mockups of your product to be tested, or let participants test a live version of your product. The fifth step would be to create a planning document laying out the objectives of the usability test and the questions to ask participants. That step is followed by recruiting the participants. Here, UX designers will need to work with a recruiting firm if they are not working with a research team. Read this blog post by Avani Miriyala, CEO of a UX/UI agency in the Austin, TX area and expert UX designer to learn more about how to set criteria to select participants.
The last 3 steps are deciding on an incentive for the participants, double-checking all previous steps to make sure you are ready for the study, and conducting the study. The incentives are not only to motivate the participants but also to build a relationship with them. The day before the usability test, the UX/UI designer should verify that all the requirements for the test have been fulfilled. Lastly, conduct the study. For more details of things to keep in mind at this stage, read our article on the subject.
Voila! You are now equipped to run a high-level usability test. During your first attempt and every time after that, make sure to take notes of what worked and what didn’t.