Usability testing is most effective when conducted regularly, ensuring you never take an idea too far before validating it with users. You may think frequent testing is out of reach for your team if you don’t have dedicated researchers, but we believe anyone can make it work with the help of one simple tool: templates.
In this post, we present a basic template that can function as both a usability test plan and report. Starting with this document will help you properly plan your usability study with as little extra effort as possible. In addition, making the initial plan document double as a report ensures all essential information about the study is recorded – you only need to update it with your findings.
Copy the text below and adapt it as necessary to create a template that works for your team. For each new test, you will only need to replace the details.
Now let’s walk through it.
Usability Test Report Title
Subtitle with further details or date
Say a few words about the product or feature being tested, the context of the test, and your main objectives. Once the test has been completed, you can also add a brief summary of the findings here.
Specify the questions you hope to answer by the study. For example, these might be:
Do users understand the labels we have chosen?
Does the workflow for creating a new item make sense?
Describe the characteristics of the people you want to participate in the test. State the screener criteria and method of recruitment.
It often helps to give participants a specific situation to imagine themselves in when completing a task. As an example, for a task that involves browsing an e-commerce site, providing context such as “You’re shopping for a friend’s birthday” makes it easier for users to understand and complete tasks.
In Userfeel, you have the option to present a description of this scenario at the beginning of the test. Write this description here.
Write the tasks you will ask your users to complete in this section. It is generally a good idea to start with the easiest task and progress through the more difficult ones.
Userfeel also allows you to ask free text, multiple choice, or rating questions in between tasks. Consider these options when planning your test and include the questions you would like to ask with the corresponding tasks here.
Clearly describe what you would like the user to do in the given scenario. Our post on common planning mistakes gives some pointers about writing tasks.
Follow the same approach for each task, adding more as needed.
Write any debriefing questions you would like to ask here, for instance:
What was your overall impression of the experience?
What did you find frustrating or confusing?
Was there anything surprising or unexpected?
What do you understand [labels X and Y] to mean?
In Userfeel, post-test questions can be free text, multiple choice, or rating scales.
The rest of the template is to be filled out after testing is completed, for reporting purposes. In the findings section, present the key insights you derived from the study. You will generally want to list the findings in order of priority (although it can help to start with a positive finding even if it’s less important).
You can also opt to combine Findings & Recommendations into one section and present your suggestions alongside the findings that inspired them.
Description of first finding
Back up the finding with specific details, for instance, the number of times participants made a certain error or direct quotations.
Description of second finding
Follow the same approach for each finding, adding more as needed.
In this section, describe the suggestions for improvement that you infer from your findings. As mentioned above, these can also be incorporated into the findings rather than given in a separate section.
Description of first recommendation
Explain your idea and how it derives from the test results.
Description of second recommendation
Follow the same approach for each recommendation, adding more as needed.
At the end, reflect on any issues with the test. For instance, how might the characteristics of the participants have impacted the outcome? What might actual users have done differently? Discuss any concerns you have about your methods.
This is also a good place to talk about further questions that arose from the test and how they could be investigated in the future.
If you have any final observations to make, you can use this section at the end. Otherwise, use it to sum up the key outcomes.