Testing Usability


1 - 4


3 hours


Comfortable environment


Multiple groups of users, devices, refreshments, recording equipment, pens, paper, user consent


Find a good sized room where users will feel at ease, ideally somewhere that you can observe without being too intrusive. Load your application/service/website onto devices (using the prototypes we created earlier) the more variety the better here. Co-ordinate times for users to attend in groups, no more than 4, the more variety of users you have the better. You might have to offer incentives to get people through the door but this will depend on your budget. Have tea, coffee and drinks available along with snacks.

Step One

Welcome your groups of users and explain the purpose of the user research, what they will be testing and the types of feedback you’d like to get from them. Provide them with pens and paper so they can jot down any notes as they test and won’t forget anything.

Step Two

Set each users up with a device, if you want them to test the whole application just show them the home screen and nothing else. It’s important that they use the application as a new user without prompts to get the most honest feedback. If you want the users to test a particular feature then make sure they know how to access that feature.

Step Three

Ask your users if they have any question or need any clarification. It’s now time to let your users test. Depending on how you are observing its important that you are discrete and make you users feel at ease.

Step Four

Once your are confident your users have tested thoroughly it’s time to ask them to feedback. You might have gathered heat mapping data along with recordings but it’s important to also gather first hand feedback. Ask them what they liked, if there were any areas they were unsure of or things they’d like to see.

Step Five

Thank your testers for being a part of the process. It’s now time to gather your data and apply this new research. You can repeat this with as many users as you’d like and at different points in the project.


User testing doesn’t have to cost a lot. For smaller budgets use tools such as HotJar to record user activity and simple note taking can provide valuable feedback from your users.