R. Kiran Khan

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What is Usability Testing and How to conduct it?

Find out how to conduct this research method and what tools you will need.

As I started learning about usability testing, I was unsure of what it meant and how to conduct it. ⁣

This post is based on what I have learned from my experience. The purpose of this article is to help you better understand what usability testing means and how you can implement it in your research. ⁣

In user experience research, usability testing is one of the most widely used methods. In the process of designing a product, this is one of the most important components. ⁣

A usability test involves participants (real users) performing specific tasks while observers (moderators) watch, listen, and take notes. A ‘think-aloud’ technique is used by observers to encourage participants to spontaneously report everything that is running through their minds while they perform a task.

The method is used to identify any usability problems and understand users’ thought process, collect qualitative and quantitative data.

A usability test can be conducted on a live website, a native mobile application, a web application, a SaaS application, a digital product, or an interactive prototype.

Usability testing can be done:

  • Remote un-moderate
  • Remote Moderate (task-based)
  • In person; face-to-face (task-based)
  • Behavioral
  • Interactive

Forms & documents you would need

For Participants

For Tester

  • Observation Sheets
  • Pen for taking notes
  • Script for Dialogue

Tools for Task-based Test

Participants receive instructions to complete specific tasks.

  • Find a maximum of five people to run the test on.
  • Live video recording of participants
  • Audio and Screen recording (OBS or Quicktime)

When should I use this method?

  • To get feedback on early concept ideas, which you should pursue and why.
  • Testing the already built product to find usability issues and complications.
  • To understand current user behaviour, needs, requirements and concerns.

Participants can be located anywhere, the entire study is completed online.

  1. usertesting.com
  2. usabilla.com
  3. userzoom.com
  4. Loop11.com
  5. usabilityhub.com
  6. optimizely.com
  7. fivesecondtest.com
  8. fullstory.com
  9. hotjar.com
  10. sessioncam.com

Free Templates

More about Usability


References: nngroup.com and usability.gov

“Designers know too much about their product to be objective judges: the features they have come to love and prefer may not be understood or preferred by the future customers”. (Donald Norman)


  • Very useful to understand basics of Usability testing. I am currently in the process of learning and adapting this at my work. Thanks!

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