Usability testing is a process to uncover usability problems by observing potential users performing tasks on a prototype. Several documents are generated during the development, analysis, and reporting of a usability test; for this course you will concentrate on the usability test plan and usability report.
The goal of the test plan is to describe the tasks that the participant will perform and the questions that you will ask the participants. Participants perform tasks in the context of a scenario that you have described to them.
The usability test plan is produced before the test and referred to during the test. It serves the following purposes:
- summarizes the highest priority usability issues identified during the development process and heuristic evaluation
- outlines how the issues were addressed in the development process to improve the user experience,
- details the test protocol(s) used to assess users’ opinions of the improvements
A test plan consists of a series of test scenarios, which may or may not be identical to the scenarios you produced earlier in the semester.. A customizable test plan template is available here; we will discuss recommendation customization (and the need for proofreading!!!) in class: https://www.usability.gov/how-to-and-tools/resources/templates/usability-test-plan-template.html
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An example outline for a test scenario:
- Test Scenario Name
- Test Goals for the scenario
- Scenario description (What will be read to the participant prior to a test, describing the environment of the test.) (The scenario should be on a separate sheet of paper.)
- Measurement list (What type of observations you will make during the usability tests.)
- Potential observations of participant (Specific observation that will support the qualitative measurements.)
- Bug Report Form (A form used to indicate functional software problems, including the person reporting the problem, the nature of the problem and instructions for replication.)
- Post Scenario interview or questionnaire questions (The questionnaire should be on a separate sheet of paper.)
- Test set up details (Unusual details specific to the test, such as environment, user or equipments.)
So that Karla and I can compare test results across team, we have included two additional requirements a bug reporting form and common usability questions. Bugs are errors in the program. The bug form should include
- Bug number – this is an unique number for each bug occurred during test
- Bug name – this is a short name given to the bug, and use to identify bugs.
- Bug uniqueness – The first time any of your participants encounter this bug put an asterisk by the bug. When you the same participant or another participant encounters the same bug do not put an asterisk.
- Bug location – this indicates which page of of the website that has the bug
- Bug description – this is a short description of the bug, 1 or 2 sentence.
Every time a user encounters a bug, unique bug number is given and the bug name. When a bug is first encounter put an asterisk by the bug. If the bug occurs across multiple users or even the same user, you do not put a asterisk and do not have to enter the description or location a second time, but do record the same name. The CS students should be able to help you identify and record bugs.
The common usability questions are in CommonUsabilityTestQuestions.docx document. Note there there are two sets of questions. One set is given before scenario are tested and the other set after the scenarios have been tested. You are expected to add your own questions.
The test scenario should evaluate a unique and critical design aspect of the undergraduate design. A test scenario may have more than one task associated with it. You should produce at least two test scenarios, but you might have time only to conduct one of the scenarios during the actual testing. A test plan is an outline, but the text of the scenario description, tasks and questionnaire should be full sentences appropriate for reading to the participant. I expect about several page for each test scenario. Besides distributing the usability test plan to the undergraduate design group, you should post it on your website. The test plan should have a cover sheet identifying you and the undergraduate design group. An example of a professional usability test report can be found in the resources.
When you have finished and posted your usability test plan email me (rpastel at mtu.edu) and Karla Kitalong (kitalong at mtu.edu) that you have done so. The subject line of the email should be
hu4628 – Usability Test Assignment 2
Your email should NOT have the document attached. Rather, we will read it on your website.