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Fast and Simple Usability Testing


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Mike Stenhouse

This is an absolutely brilliant write-up! Nice one Nat.

I think the single most important thing for the success of a usability test is the demeanor of the facilitator. They have to be chatty but quiet at the right times; friendly but not distracting; professional but approachable; detached from the project but involved with the test subject. It’s incredibly hard to get right. Personally, I find it hard to stay focussed beyond 30 minutes or so – it’s quite intense and really tiring.

I also ask subjects to follow where they’re looking with the mouse. It’s slightly more natural than speaking each eye movement out loud and catches some things that the subject might not bother to mention.

CM Harrington

Fantastic article. It’s so important to know what you are testing. It’s easy to be distracted from that. With “low res” mock-ups (paper prototypes, etc), it’s easy to make hundreds of variations for each step of the process… You’re generally not testing their ability to click a form widget, but you are probably testing their ability to navigate a new site based on an established workflow. The main versions of the screens are all you should need to conduct that study. A/B testing is also a good idea, especially if you’re asking your audience to change their workflow.

Qasim Rasheed

Nice article. I would recommend readers to look into Selenium ( which can make capturing these uability test a breeze. At the end of the day you will have a set of test cases (or use cases) that can be run on regular basis.


Peterr Blakey

Let me put a scenario to you – I am developing a Moodle unit for a University course. I am using the unit to support a face to face element of a blended learning experience.

Given that I am not very technically literate, my main interests – apart from the content – are the text, font and layout, as well as the use of graphics and assessment resources (ie how do I find out what they know).

What are five major issues involved in assessing the usability of a site, and what references to WCAG 2.00 would be required? Also how given that I am time poor, what is minimum number of participants required to complete this test/

Impress us

Be friendly / use Textile