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Step 4: Usability Research and Testing

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Conduct at least one usability test at a stage early enough to allow for implementation of findings.

Doing usability testing the right way, at the right time with the right set of people reduces the risk of building the wrong product; thereby saving time, money and other precious resources.

This step should be completed once you have an interactive prototype or working code.  In most cases, this will be after you’ve built or setup your website/service/product or application.


  1. Complete the research plan using the Research Plan template for usability testing. This will help identify and create:
    1. research goals and questions
    2. background
    3. usability testing methodology
    4. additional participant criteria
    5. incentives
    6. a schedule
    7. usability test script
  2. Build a list of potential participants
  3. Send a recruitment email to potential participants. Start with this email template
  4. Schedule participants
  5. Conduct usability testing
  6. Analyze testing results
    • Prioritize observed issues. You can refer back to the prioritization template.
  7. Add top issues to product requirements

Job Aid

  1. Usability research plan and script template
  2. Recruitment email template
  3. Script template 
    • Tools
      • Moderated (in person/zoom)
      • Unmoderated (Not included this round - Google Forms - refer to Astrid’s tests for future iteration)
  4. Prioritization template (Link to mural)