Usability testing FAQ 

Your usability testing questions answered

Congratulations! You’ve reached the end of our exhaustive (but hopefully not exhausting) usability testing guide. 

You’re now equipped with everything you need to conduct successful usability tests that enhance the user experience. 

If you’re still itching to know more or feel like there’s something we missed, check out our answers to the most common usability testing FAQS below. 

What is usability testing?

A usability test uncovers insights and issues people may experience when using your product or service. The test comprises a series of tasks completed by a test participant while you capture their feedback, actions, behaviors, and spoken-aloud thoughts.

Why is usability testing important? 

A well-conducted usability test will uncover rich insights. For example: why aren’t users navigating beyond a certain point of your website? And what information might they expect to find to help them make key decisions?

Using these insights, you can start to understand how a design needs to change to better suit your customers’ needs and increase engagement and conversion rates for your business.

How do you run an unmoderated usability test on a website?

You can use online software or a dedicated remote user research platform to conduct usability tests on a website. 

Your software enables the automated collection of quantitative, qualitative, and behavioral feedback from participants in their natural environment using their computer or device. 

Because the data collection is remote, asynchronous, and automated, results can be collected quickly and accurately, which is great for agile development environments. 

How many users should partake in a usability test?

A general rule of thumb is to test frequently with around five users, as insights become repetitive after the fifth user.

However, bear in mind that five is only ever enough to uncover 85% of issues. The higher the sample size, the more problems you will find. If your design has matured and lots of optimization is needed, try testing with larger sample sizes.

Remember that it’s worth recruiting one or two more participants than needed—just in case there are no-shows or last-minute cancellations.

Is usability testing qualitative or quantitative?

Both! You can collect two data types through remote usability testing: qualitative and quantitative. Some tools enable you to collect qualitative data from video and voice recordings, while others collect structured metrics based on user interactions. 

Both types of data are helpful for usability testing. So, ideally, you want a usability testing solution that offers both formats. Don’t limit yourself to one! 

What’s the difference between formative and summative usability testing?

Formative usability testing is done early in the product development cycle to help form the product’s shape and design. The goal is to detect any issues and eliminate usability problems before a product is fully developed. 

Summative usability testing is usually performed later in the product development process when a product is fully developed. It is often conducted when a design is reasonably complete and evaluates the design against quantitative goals or competitors’ outcomes.

What are the best usability testing tools? 

There are many UX testing tools out there, but be wary of having to use a hodgepodge of unintegrated tools to cover your needs. 

If you’re looking for an all-in-one solution (online usability tests, screen-share technology, automated transcription, and reporting), we humbly recommend UserZoom GO. 

Our quick and easy UX insights solution replicates the lab experience but with the efficiency of an online experience—including automated scheduling, stakeholder collaboration, and geographic reach.

How do I avoid bias in usability testing?

There are two factors to consider here: unmoderated testing and screener questions. 

Unmoderated testing takes away the influence of others and removes outside distractions. People will use your product in their natural environment with their device, making them more likely to feel at ease. 

Screener questions can sometimes help filter out people with particular opinions or political persuasions if you feel there may be a conflict of interest. But bear in mind there’s no strict guarantee that they won’t lie to get through anyway.

How do I measure usability testing outcomes? 

Not to toot our own horn, but we’ve developed a single UX metric score, called the QXscore, perfect for communicating usability testing results to stakeholders clearly and effectively. 

Our score combines various measurements, collecting behavioral data (such as task success, task time, and page views) and attitudinal data (such as ease of use, trust, and appearance)—the purpose of this is to create a single benchmarking score for your product.

How should I present my usability test findings?

Slide decks are great for linearly telling a story and aid you in physically presenting the findings. While decks can lack detail without accompanying dialogue, the conciseness of this medium is excellent for stakeholders who don’t need low-level details.

Reports are another option, offering more detail than a slide deck. However, these can be long and difficult to read, so be careful with whom you share these! 

Regardless of the format, when presenting usability insights, tell your participants' stories: begin with who they are. Then, explain their goals in the context of what they wanted to achieve with your product, their pain points along the way, and the impact this has on your business.

Consider presenting the insights based on a scale, from the most severe to observation level categories. A severe issue would significantly impact both users and the business, resulting in customer loss.

An observation would be something that improves the user experience but won’t necessarily improve conversion, like grouping pieces of information closer together.

Prioritizing insights helps your team understand what design iterations need urgent attention, so they can start improving usability and the overall user experience strategically. 

Start your usability testing journey today!

Learn more about UserZoom’s usability testing software, designed to help you deliver exceptional digital experiences with quality insight.