Usability testing templates and checklists

Not sure how to structure a usability testing template? This is the guide for you.

So, now you’ve got a firm understanding of usability testing, how it works in practice and the kind of questions you can ask. 

But you might be wondering how you can combine everything you’ve learned so far into a cohesive script! 

Well, that’s where our testing template and checklist come in. 

The benefits of using a testing template and checklist

As a UX researcher, you’re going to run many usability tests in your career. Sometimes you’ll be a domain expert and know exactly what is required of participants. Other times, you won’t be knowledgeable about a particular product you are testing and may need some guidance to write the tasks.

In either case, having a template and checklist will be hugely beneficial. These documents will help you to structure all the information you need to include in your usability test.

Definitive usability testing checklist 

Our usability testing checklist is a great way to organize your thoughts and ensure you’re prepping for a successful study. Here’s what to consider: 

  • Define your objectives for the study: What global questions do you want users to answer? What hypotheses do you want to validate?
  • Choose your participants: Do you want to invite real users? What key demographic are you after? How many total participants to get the information you’re after?
  • Select your questions: What general psycho-demographic information are you after? What questions are needed to test your hypothesis?
  • Create a realistic scenario: What are common user scenarios that occur on your site or app that you want to test?
  • Prepare your tasks: How, you ask? That’s where our template comes in, which is up in a couple of paragraphs! 
  • Decide where you want to place user questionnaires: At the beginning of your study, after each task, at the end of the study?
  • Configure the script into your testing tool: When you are done planning your study along this framework, it is time to enter everything in your UX research software.

In the following graphic, we provide an overview of all these elements to help you when reviewing your final script:

Template for writing usability tasks

If you read our checklist closely, you’ll notice we mentioned a handy template for writing usability tasks. This template is a favorite of the UserZoom team. We advise you to make one copy of this table for each task you create…

To contextualize the template, below is an example one we filled in earlier for an e-commerce website!

How to fill in your own usability testing template

  • Task # and name: Give each task a brief descriptive name and a number. The name helps you remember what its purpose is, and the numbers are useful in usability testing because you can ask the observers things like, “Shall we skip 3 this time and go right to 4?” without discussing the content of the tasks in front of the users.
  • Research question: What will users have accomplished when they’re done with the task? Is there a tangible output? How will they know the task is complete? What might the users do to be sure?
  • Inputs (if needed): List all the information or resources that a user would need to complete this task. Examples include: a valid login, business policies, physical objects such as a textbook, or a credit card, file names, and so on.
  • Assumptions (if needed): These are the conditions and prerequisites that are in place at the start of the task. The assumptions depend on what you want to learn from the task.
  • Steps: Write down the steps you expect the user will go through in completing the task. This helps you identify the inputs and assumptions that you’ll need to create. Writing down the expected steps can also be helpful if there will be observers who aren’t as familiar with the interface as you are.
  • Success criteria: Specific measurable criteria for determining that the task was successfully completed. For example, a URL or snippet of URL (e.g., thankyou.html).
  • Notes: The notes section might have several types of information, including the reasons why you created the task, how you’ll conduct it, specific things to watch for, and questions to ask users after the task is complete. Information to include in the notes varies depending on what’s being tested. Write down whatever information you think will be useful to have on hand during the usability tests.

Once you’ve finished your script and tasks, you will be able to quickly set up and run your test in a testing tool! 

Up next…

You’re now just two chapters away from being a total usability testing expert! Click next to check out our in-house experts’ cheat sheet for running your own remote usability testing research.