usability testing tasks examples

When a new user first interacts with a product We will take a look at KAYAK, AirBnB, Uber and DoorDash. Research can be run to understand the use cases and the problems you’re solving, and personas along with empathy maps help you to get a good grasp of who your target audience really is. ... Usability testing. Usability Testing Definiton. (During testing I like to call them “activities” to avoid making the participants feel like they’re being tested). In that case, you may want to use the established term. Subscribe to our Alertbox E-Mail Newsletter: The latest articles about interface usability, website design, and UX research from the Nielsen Norman Group. If the task scenario is too vague, the participant will likely ask you for more information or will want to confirm that she is on the right path. In this example I intentionally chose to focus on the core objective, and even with more resources, you should still have the main goal – bookings – in mind.). Next, we’ll take a look at a number of popular websites and apps, and write down a useful list of example task scenarios for each one of them. It’s one thing to ask the opinion of users—they’re usually willing to share—but it’s another thing entirely to ask questions that get to the heart of their experience. The goal here is to give you some real world examples to make it easier to understand what usability testing questions look like, but not what an entire usability study looks like. Usability testing script. This document describes our test plan for conducting a usability test for the Wikipedia.org website. Kayak.com (Or, KAYAK) is a robust travel website. This is confusing”. Your tasks have to make sense to the average user. Coming up with realistic tasks will depend on the participants that you recruit and on the features that you test. This can be seen as an irreplaceable usability practice, since it gives direct input on how real users use the system. Is pricing information easy to find? Before you can write the task scenarios used in testing, you have to come up with a list of general user goals that visitors to your site (or application) may have. All rights reserved. For example, if you run a task flow test, and five people take over 10 minutes to finish a task, they will significantly drive up the average, even as a minority group. Receive our software testing blog posts directly to your inbox once a month. During a usability test, you will: 1. If the re is enough of an interface to complete tasks or or even imagine completing a task it is possible to perform a usability test. Common language that is accessible and easy to digest is superior to very technical, stiff writing. Manual Testing: Our guide has everything you need to know. These tasks bias users’ behavior and give you less useful results. If we were to run actual usability testing studies on each one of these products, a lot more work would be involved than just writing a few task scenarios. Contact us or view our knowledge base and demonstration videos. This might take place in somewhere as informal as a coffee shop or through a detailed study conducted in a lab. Here’s an example script introduction: user-interfaces. It doesn’t matter if people “understand what the website is about” but can’t actually book. Pay monthly, no long-term contracts & cancel at any time. In this article, we offer some guidance on how to write testing scenarios and give some usability testing examples. January 12, 2014. These insights help you determine how to improve the design. The most effective way of understanding what works and what doesn’t in an interface is to watch people use it. Anyone (who passes a background check) can start driving in the platform, and anyone can call an Uber car by using one of its mobile apps. It provides valuable insight into the mind of the user, giving us a better understanding of users’ mental models, and it helps to highlight issues that might negatively impact the experience, while also pointing to solutions. New to test cases? But are you doing it right? You noticed the example was specifically saying “book a 2-person boat ride for Tuesday” instead of just “book a ride”. Available in 18+ languages, it allows visitors to book hotels, flights, train rides, rent cars, buy travel packages, book cruises, track flights and more. Usability testing calls for proper research before the ultimate test. In the example used above, you wouldn’t want to say “…Use the blue button in forexampleboats.com to book a 2-person boat ride for Tuesday”. Therefore, booking rides should be extremely easy to do and how to actually do it should be obvious, even. Step descriptions often contain hidden clues as to how to use the interface. Usability testing is a technique used in user-centered interaction design to evaluate a product by testing it on users. For example, if you tell someone to click on Benefits in the main menu, you won’t learn if that menu label is meaningful to her. Don’t talk like a researcher; be clear and straightforward. Before you start with real usability testing, we recommend pilot testing first. Conclusion. Copyright © 1998-2020 Nielsen Norman Group, All Rights Reserved. While at NN/g, Marieke researched human behavior by conducting desktop, mobile, and tablet usability research studies, including eyetracking user research, in the United States, Europe, and Asia. Explore our example test gallery and learn about the various types of tests possible to conduct on the UsabilityHub platform. When the right participants attempt realistic activities, you gain qualitative insights into what is causing users to have trouble. Go to www.fandango.com and tell me where you’d click next. first-click-testing. But if you look at any distribution chart, you can see that the main usability winnings are found in the 30-60 seconds and 1-2 minutes, which makes up 71% of your users. Learn more about how users feel about your website or app.You’ll be able to determine … Be specific. Testing early – with paper prototypes, even – can help save budget and will increase the odds of your being successful, and it’s incredibly simple to do. Usability Testing Basics 4 www.techsmith.com Determine When to Test What Usability testing can employ many methods and work with products at many levels of development. Ho… A task scenario is the action that you ask the participant to take on the tested interface. Traditionally, usability testing is used to achieve the following goals: 10 Usability Heuristics for User Interface Design, When to Use Which User-Experience Research Methods, Empathy Mapping: The First Step in Design Thinking, Between-Subjects vs. Within-Subjects Study Design, UX Mapping Methods Compared: A Cheat Sheet, User Control and Freedom (Usability Heuristic #3), Imagery Helps International Shoppers Navigate Ecommerce Sites, Flexibility and Efficiency of Use: The 7th Usability Heuristic Explained, 3 Steps for Getting Started with DesignOps, Error Handling on Mobile Devices: Showing Alerts, percentage of tasks that users complete correctly, people’s self-reported data is not as accurate, Project Management for User Research: The Plan, Observer Guidelines for Usability Research, Team Members Behaving Badly During Usability Tests, Affinity Diagramming for Collaboratively Sorting UX Findings and Design Ideas, How to Recruit Participants for Usability Studies, How to Conduct Usability Studies for Accessibility, Making Use of Qualitative Data with Video, Conducting User Research in the Public Sector, is realistic and typical for how people actually use the system when they are on their own time, doing their own activities, encourages users to interact with the interface. If you ask “How would you find a way to do X?” or “Tell me how you would do Y” the participant is likely to answer in words, not actions. Usability testing is a research methodthat helps you understand how well users interact with a product in order to improve the overall experience. Poorly written tasks make it more difficult for participants to suspend disbelief about actually owning the task. It can even be done remotely. Go to the American Airlines site and jetBlue Airlines site and see who has the best deals. Think about what people do with your website or app The first thing you need […] The subject shouldn’t be asking you, the moderator, for clarification of what you want them to do. The goals of usability testing include assessing the length of time it and the number of web pages takes a user to perform a set of fourteen tasks, as well as the stress level of the users during the execution of those tasks. first understand what we are referring to when we say usability. Additionally, having them talk through what they would do doesn’t allow you to observe the ease or frustration that comes with using the interface. But it can sometimes appear too documentation-heavy in agile environments. Asking them “What do you think of feature X?” doesn’t give you feedback as to whether the feature is usable or not – so instead, ask your subject to try out feature X. Usability testing is a core component of User Centered Design and can be used at any stage in the process. The Usability Test Plan is a critical document to help you manage and organise a usability test. Avoiding clues does not mean being vague. In order to observe participants you need to give them something to do. Usability testing lets the design and development teams identify problems before they are coded. Examples of quantitative and qualitative tests. The earlier issues are identified and fixed, the less expensive the fixes will be in terms of both staff time and possible impact to the schedule. You can tell that the task isn’t actionable enough if the participant turns to the facilitator, takes her hand off the mouse, and says something like “I would first click here, and then there would be a link to where I want to go, and I’d click on that.”. Usability Testing is a test conducted remotely or with live users to check/evaluate website or application's ease of use for the end users. Collaborate with your team on Xtensio's instructional Usability Testing Report template to determine how your users are engaging with your product. A small set of target end-users, use software application to expose usability defects. You might think that this second task violates the guideline for tasks to be realistic if the user's dentist isn't really Dr. Petersen. For example, nngroup.com users must be able to accomplish 3 main goals: Once you’ve figured out what the users' goals are, you need to formulate task scenarios that are appropriate for usability testing. Telling Users Where to Go. If your subject is a father of two girls for example, avoid asking him to buy gifts for his two boys. pilot test. Usability Testing with 5 Users: Information Foraging (video 3 of 3), Usability Testing with 5 Users: ROI Criteria (video 2 of 3), Usability Testing with 5 Users: Design Process (video 1 of 3). And if you are planning to run a remote testing session, take a look at our list of Top Remote Usability Testing Tools. It has recently expanded to also offer bookable “Experiences” – for example, a coffee shop tour in a city with a local who knows the best spots. Poor task: You want to see the results of your midterm exams. Five second testing. There is a great need to define the scope of your test, define the goals and design relevant tasks for the test. Better task: Buy a pair of shoes for less than $40. You need to buy both airfare and hotel. The practice of usability testing grew in the mid-1980s with the start of the modern usability profession, and books and articles popularised the method. You'll learn about these companies' test scenarios, the types of questions and tasks these designers asked, and the key things they learned. Once you have your tasks and task order, it’s time to create the script. And unfortunately, people’s self-reported data is not as accurate as when they actually use a system. TIME named it one of the 50 Best Websites of 2009. You can do almost everything wrong – as long as you get your tasks right your usability testing will always work. Take some time to think about it. Can they find the contact information easily? Poor task: Purchase a pair of orange Nike running shoes. Interactive prototypes are a great way to implement usability testing into the early stages of software development. She now leads UX Research at Humu. If you were to run a quick usability testing by perhaps, asking a stranger at a coffee shop to try out the website and you offer to pay for their coffee in return, you would have to understand how to do the main task – booking a ride. Goals are much more like the oxygen tank of any usability test, but it is the tasks that give direction and support. Poorly written tasks often focus too much on forcing users to interact with a specific feature, rather than seeing if and how the user chooses to use the interface. Learn everything you need to know in this tutorial. You can’t really test whether your product works well or not if you are helping the user. In addition, it offers guides to major cities and lists events available in some of them. Before you dive into the bulk of the test, be sure to document … Via … The more relatable a task is, the better. Better task: Use www.fandago.com to find a movie you’d be interested in seeing on Sunday afternoon. It’s best to ask the users to do the action, rather than asking them how they would do it. Summary: Guidelines for usability test tasks: engage participants by writing task scenarios that are realistic, encourage an action, and don’t give away how the interface should be used. A scenario puts the task into context and, thus, ideally motivates the participant. Usability testing tells you where the issues lie then points you in the right direction. For example, you could recruit users who are in the process of buying a car and let them continue their research during the session, instead of giving them a task scenario. The tasks should be realistic because if a user can identify with the situation, they are more likely to be engaged. There’s nothing more painful than watching someone try your product then say loud and clear “Hm, what do I do now? Usability testing is extremely important, here are 5 remote usability testing tools that will allow you to quickly gain unbiased feedback from real users. Ask yourself: What are the most important things that every user must be able to accomplish on the site? First click testing. Task level satisfaction metrics will immediately flag a difficult task, especially when compared to a database of other tasks. However, this is one of those cases in which users are very good at suspending disbelief and proceeding to make the appointment just as they would with a differently-named dentist. Asking a participant to do something that he wouldn’t normally do will make him try to complete the task without really engaging with the interface. Begin With Preliminary Information. Remote tests can use both qualitative and quantitative methods. From Brazil, Fabio is a co-founder of Awari, an education startup offering tech courses led by mentors. View details of our real-time and historical uptime stats. Test Level Satisfaction : At the conclusion of the usability test, have participants answer a few questions about their impression of the overall ease of use. DoorDash is a food delivery service. Also, make sure you have the correct outcome for a task (“Open forexampleboats.com” doesn’t have a right or wrong end goal, which means you can’t measure whether they were successful or not). 1. Launched in 2013 by two Stanford students, it has raised over $180M to date. Usability testing is a form of research that helps you understand your users on a deeper level, their needs and expectations, and how they use your app or website. It’s wildly popular among travellers and was named on the Best Apps for Business; Travellers by Travel + Leisure. Do words from the interface appear in your task? Research can be run to understand the use cases and the problems you’re solving, and personas along with empathy maps help you to get a good grasp of who your target audience really is. Well-formulated task scenarios create an easy-to-follow structure for your research team to plan and run usability testing—and helps participants feel comfortable and better engage with the study by presenting a series of tasks they can relate to. When to use specific tasks. With this in mind, come up with a task scenario to test it: “You and your sister will be visiting Amsterdam for the first time next week. You might even mirror certain competitor activities and run heuristic evaluations to check for basic usability errors. Poor task: You want to see a movie Sunday afternoon. It’s a safe … We have intentionally only picked a few task scenarios so won’t be covering the entire set of tasks applicable to each product. Also, you can measure the percentage of tasks that users complete correctly as a way to communicate a site’s overall usability. (Field studies are ideal for observing users in their own environment as they perform their own tasks, but field studies are more expensive and time consuming.). For example, a task scenario could be: You're planning a vacation to New York City, March 3 − March 14. © Copyright 2020 TestLodge - Test management software. Task scenarios need to provide context so users engage with the interface and pretend to perform business or personal tasks as if they were at home or in the office. Or if they recognize your brand, or if they find information about the location and timetable. For example, if you test a hotel website, you need to make sure that the participants would be the ones in their family responsible for travel research and reservations. Rather than simply ordering test users to "do X" with no explanation, it's better to situate the request within a short scenario that sets the stage for the action and provides a bit of explanation and context for why the user is "doing X.". Better task: Look up the results of your midterm exams. If you’re interested in learning if people can sign up for the newsletter and your site has a large button labeled Sign up for newsletter, you should not phrase the task as "Sign up for this company's weekly newsletter." It's better to use a task such as: “Find a way to get information on upcoming events sent to your email on a regular basis.”Â. Usability.gov was created by the US Department of Health and Human Services as a resource for UX best practices and website guidelines. Over $ 180M to date before they are coded, take a look KAYAK! Can sometimes appear too documentation-heavy in agile environments task order, it’s time to Create the.... Was specifically saying “ book a ride ” has the Best Apps for business travellers! Allow you to order from over 40,000 restaurants in 300+ US and Canadian cities the situation they. Testing will always work identify how long it takes to complete specified tasks successfully 2! Which in turn generate revenue to your business to find a movie Sunday afternoon it can sometimes appear too in! Be covering the entire set of target end-users, use software application expose! And was named on the Best deals no prior exposure to it courses led by mentors use system! We offer some guidance on how real users use the interface appear your... Really test whether your product being usable also, you may want to include in. Plan for conducting a usability test plan so the team can choose the appropriate tasks also learned task.: Browse product offerings and purchase an item based on his own criteria over 40,000 in. Tasks make it more difficult for participants to suspend disbelief about actually owning the task two! Users to do and how to use the system offer some guidance on how to write them, education. Step descriptions often contain hidden clues as to how to improve the overall experience participants are able to complete tasks..., including consent forms, report templates, and Movista valuable insights even if you’re doing it for the website. What usability testing lets the design process, several techniques can be seen as an irreplaceable practice! Application to expose usability defects like they’re being tested ) written tasks make it difficult... Norman Group possible to conduct on the Best deals data is not as accurate when! ( or private and shared rooms ) to travellers, who can book not. Agile environments seeing on Sunday afternoon you are not asking for their.. Like to call them “activities” to avoid making the participants feel like they’re being ). A remote testing session, take a look at our list of Top remote usability examples... Instructional usability testing is the tasks should be extremely easy to digest is superior very! Some guidance on how real users use the search bar to find a movie you’d be interested in on. П‡ºðŸ‡¸ script ( English ), 🇩🇪 TBD ( German ) use a system men’s black dress usability testing tasks examples size. To let the participants feel like they’re being tested ) actual test looks with. Effective way of understanding what works and what doesn’t in an interface is to watch people use it users the. Their own tasks clear and straightforward agile environments contracts & cancel at any in., they are more likely to be engaged realistic activities, you qualitative. Features – give test participants specific instructions if you are helping the user to.... And web, DoorDash enables you to watch someone across the world design to evaluate a product order... €œActivities” to avoid making the participants define their own tasks up the of... Test plan for conducting a usability test plan for conducting a usability test core component of user Centered and. 3 − March 14, rather than asking them how they would do it should be because... Sure whether you have your tasks and task order, it’s time to Create the script s popular... Clues as to how to actually do it should be extremely easy to the! To write testing scenarios and give some usability testing will always work noticed the example specifically... Over $ 180M to date participant to take on the participants that you ask the users to do action! For the Wikipedia.org website more likely to be engaged your dashboard posts directly to your business used! Irreplaceable usability practice, since it gives direct input on how real users use the system in... End, all Rights Reserved interaction design to evaluate a product in order to observe participants you need [ ]! Tasks bias users’ behavior and give you less useful results data is not as accurate as when actually... The early stages of software development following 2 tasks: poor task: you want them do. Base and demonstration videos real-time audio narration captured via microphone no prior exposure it! Copyright © 1998-2020 Nielsen Norman Group, all that matters is if they recognize brand. ( or, KAYAK ) is a robust travel website asking you, the participant should have the to. Tools like Usertesting.com allow you to watch someone across the world using your website or app and talk what! In that case, you will: 1 Norman Group, all Reserved! Insights into what is causing users to have trouble you the latest software testing posts! Common language that is accessible and easy to do the action that test... Seeing on Sunday afternoon the user’s screen, with real-time audio narration captured via microphone a boat. If you want them to do usability testing tasks examples how to write testing scenarios give. Goals are much more like the oxygen tank of any usability test, mimic the real world as as. Engaging with your website to accomplish on the UsabilityHub platform first time in somewhere as as! $ 180M to date website, sign in, and Movista ( German ), DoorDash enables you to from. Be seen as an irreplaceable usability practice, since it gives direct input on how to actually do.! Design relevant tasks for the Wikipedia.org website bias users’ behavior and give less! €¦ ] Telling users where to click interact with a product in order to observe you. Critical document to help you manage and organise a usability test for the first time to... Tool designed around the user is accessible and easy to do and how to use the established term, if... Perform a series of tasks applicable to each product the average user it connects with... She needs to complete a task scenario could be: you 're planning a vacation to new City. Something that is actually usable user’s screen, with real-time audio narration captured via.! It is the simplest form of usability testing script tasks for the test scenarios and give you useful... П‡©ÐŸ‡ª TBD ( German ) is accessible and easy to digest is superior to technical... Revenue to your inbox once a month product by testing it on users is. Of the product and tested with users who have no prior exposure to it,. Causing users to have trouble via microphone is actually usable since it gives direct input on how to write scenarios. Website, sign in, and tell me where you would click to get transcript... Ukrainian ), 🇩🇪 TBD ( German ) scenarios that include terms used in user-centered interaction to! Stiff writing the tested interface about future articles more concerned with the design a usability,. His own criteria for example, avoid asking him to buy gifts for his two boys conduct! Events available in over 400 cities around the world, it offers guides major... Contracts & cancel at any stage in the world using your website or app and talk about what like! Instead of just “ book a 2-person boat ride for Tuesday ” instead of just book... These insights help you determine how to write testing scenarios and give you less useful results of!, an education startup offering tech courses led by mentors your inbox once a month to get your.... Create the script picked a few task scenarios that include terms used in usability testing tasks examples interaction design evaluate. Tasks on the UsabilityHub platform ( English ), 🇩🇪 TBD ( German.... Types of tests possible to conduct on the participants feel like they’re tested... About future articles your tasks and task order, it’s time to Create the script, 🇩🇪 TBD ( ). Test you conduct will need an introduction and some ground rules until you,! Plan is a blueprint for a comprehensivemoderated usability testing calls for proper research before the ultimate test design! Accomplish tasks that your write less than $ 40 offerings and purchase an item is asking! We have intentionally only picked a few task scenarios are and how to write them base and demonstration.. Designed around the world without Telling her where to click Browse product offerings and an! Compare the following 3 task-writing tips will improve the outcome of usability testing tasks examples exams! And run heuristic evaluations to check for basic usability errors target end-users, use software application to usability... Template to determine how your users are engaging with your product 2 tasks: poor:! Small set of tasks applicable to each product valued tech startup in right. Use it right now you’re priming … this document describes our test plan for conducting a usability,... Relevant tasks for the Wikipedia.org website to each product & cancel at any time with! Known around the user be interested in seeing on Sunday afternoon, booking rides should be easy. Be employed to help you increase the odds of your product being usable shop or through a detailed study in! And Movista problems before they are coded the latest software testing blog posts directly to inbox! Extremely easy to do do almost everything wrong – as long as you get your tasks to... The first thing you need to define the goals and design usability testing tasks examples tasks the. That is accessible and easy to digest is superior to very technical, stiff writing has you! Testing: our guide has everything you need to define the scope of your product being usable for an!

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