Usability Testing

Usability Testing

A way to accomplish validating if your design is intuitive, so that you can identify key problems in the existing design, discover opportunities to improve, and learn more about the target user(s) behavior.



Suggested Time

45 min - 1 hr


Core team, subject matter experts

Why do it?

Validation of designs through usability testing helps ensure that we are building a user-centered design that will be impactful to the users and their needs. In order to create value to the user, we need to assure that we are solving a problem in a way that makes sense to them. This session offers an overview of best practices in order to align the team before they conduct usability tests.

When to do it?

Given the importance of research early in the project, usability tests are typically done early and often when you want to validate the design of a feature or flow before it is developed. Please ensure that there are prototypes designed and created for the users to test accordingly.

What supplies are needed?

Prototyping tool(s) such as Invision or Figma

How to Use this Method


  • The feature(s) that you are wanting to test have been designed and translated into a prototype.
  • You have already recruited and scheduled usability testing sessions with 5 target users either in person or via video conferencing.
  • That you have one individual as a facilitator and one as a note taker
  • The facilitator should not be the note taker

Sample Agenda & Prompts

  1. Introduction (5 - 10 min)

    • Ask for the user’s consent to record
    • Ask the user for their general information
      • Name (Ex: “What is your name?”)
      • Age (Ex: “What is your age?”)
      • Occupation (Ex: “What is your occupation?”)
    • Any other relevant data to your test (Ex: “Have you used any food delivery apps before?”)
    • Reassure the test subjects that they are not the ones being tested and that you are on the same side. Remind them that their genuine feedback is valuable so that the design can be improved in the next iteration.
    • Encourage the test subjects to be vocal about their thoughts, actions and opinions as they go through the usability test.
      • Inform them that you may not be able to answer some questions until the end because we want to mimic someone interacting with the app for the first time without someone there to assist them.
    • Allow the user to ask any questions before you begin conducting the test.
  2. Tasks (25 - 30 min)

    Provide each task to the user and watch and listen as they attempt to execute that task in the way that makes sense to them.

    Be sure to make the tasks realistic and actionable.

    In order to avoid bias, try to avoid giving the user hints about how the action should be completed as prescribed by the design.

  3. Wrap up questions and closing words (5 - 10 min) Questions to consider:

    • What do you think about this process you just went through?
    • How does what you just experienced compare to the tool you normally use?
    • Anything else you’d like to add?
  4. Synthesize Research Findings (This happens after all usability tests have been conducted):

    • Find trends across user feedback and actions
    • Create a pass/fail table to quickly see which aspects of the design worked and which did not
    • If presenting findings to stakeholders at a more high level, compile and visualize findings in a presentation

Success/Expected Outcomes

You’ve succeeded when the team feels they’re confident that the results that they have gathered from the usability tests allows them to adjust the design effectively and begin development, depending on which iteration they are in.

Facilitator Notes & Tips

Script Tips: Consider writing a script ahead of time for the usability test, including the intro, tasks and closing questions. This will allow the note taker to have a template to follow to make notes easier to transcribe and for the team to synthesize after all tests are conducted.

Additionally, this allows the facilitator to have a consistent format, and a smoother transition between each section. By doing so, the facilitator can better utilize the time provided.

We recommend reading the following articles by Nielsen Norman Group to better familiarize yourself with the practice of usability testing: