Writing the Usability Test Plan & Making Recommendations

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  • 00:00 Usability Testing an App
  • 00:49 Defining Goals and the User
  • 1:41 What Are You Looking For?
  • 2:24 Writing a Test Plan
  • 2:51 Revising the Product
  • 3:25 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Kevin Newton

Kevin has edited encyclopedias, taught history, and has an MA in Islamic law/finance. He has since founded his own financial advice firm, Newton Analytical.

If you thought that products and apps just came to market without being tested, think again! In this lesson, we look at the process of forming a usability test plan and incorporating recommendations.

Usability Testing an App

Congratulations, your company just released a brand new app! You're already dreaming of being #1 in every online store, earning massive advertising revenues and spending all of that money and free time once you've really made it big. However, just because you've finished writing the last bit of code doesn't mean your work is done. Instead, you've got to perform usability testing.

Usability testing allows you to check to make sure that an app or technical document is able to be used as designed. As you can imagine, it's an important step before release. In this lesson, we'll go through what to do when preparing for usability testing, using an app as an example. However, all the steps also apply to technical documents, like manuals and procedures.

Defining Goals and the User

First of all, you need to make sure that you have well defined goals about what the app or document should accomplish. If you are writing a dating app, it doesn't you much good to stress a great deal about how the dating app links up with financial data. Likewise, if you're writing a manual for how to use an accounting program, you shouldn't worry too much about animations. Your test should focus on people's ability to do the intended task.

By the same token, it's also important to think about your audience. If you're creating an app, you should know who is going to use it. Your test group should be largely made up of these people. If you're making a dating app for millennials, then you need to make sure that it is something people in their age group would use. By the same token, if you're writing a manual for accounting software, you should be sure to target accountants in your usability test group.

What Are You Looking For?

Now that you know what purpose you're testing for and your target audience, let's focus on what exactly it is that a usability test should set out to do. Unless you're really lucky, or the project is relatively small, chances are you'll have to run more than one round of usability testing. As such, to avoid becoming overwhelmed with problems, it may be to your best advantage to have testers focus on a specific part of the document or the app.

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