Usability Report Template




Executive Summary

Table of Contents

Purpose of the study



Findings and recommendations






1. Executive Summary


The Executive Summary comes before the table of contents and is intended to summarize the entire study in one detailed paragraph. The idea is to provide the most pertinent information for stakeholders who do not have time to read the entire report. It is important to come right out and provide one or two major findings, such as, “The majority of users preferred prototype A over B.” That way the reader does not have to dig for the most important information.


Should include a sentence or two for each of the following:       

·        purpose of the study

·        date of tests

·        number of participants

·        length of tests

·        location

·        major findings



2. Purpose of the Study


This section of the report can also be concise. If you are comparing two prototypes, for example, talk about the critical differences and what the stakeholders were hoping to find in the usability sessions. A good purpose section should give describe the product tested and the usability goals being measured.


Should include:            

·        the primary reasons for conducting the study

·        a description of the product and its context of use

·        the usability goals identified for the product



3. Participants


In this section, you should describe the participants selected for the test session. Include all relevant demographic information and explain how participants were selected. Often a table format supplemented by a few paragraphs works well for this section.


Should include:            

·        how they were contacted

·        total number of participants

·        appropriate demographic data (age, gender)

·        computer/web experience

·        occupation/major



4. Method


This section should be the most detailed so far. As with an academic study, the method section should allow someone who was not present at the sessions to replicate the procedures. Describe how you conducted the study, the type of data you collected, the tasks you used and any other relevant information that your readers may want to know.


Should include:            

·        sufficient information for another person to replicate the study

·        what was recorded, e.g. errors, number of clicks, comments

·        entire process from the initial greeting to the end of session

·        task description (may include the actual list in the appendix)

·        facilitation techniques

·        roles of people involved in the session

·        technical details: network connection speed, browser version…



5. Findings and Recommendations


The findings and recommendations section of the report is the most detailed of all and may be represented in various ways. At UCS, we tend to use a table with three sections: observations, interpretations, and recommendations. We find that the interpretation section allows the reader to understand how we arrived at our recommendation while giving him/her the freedom to agree or disagree with our perception of the problem. Regardless of the method used, it is important to give the reader unbiased data presented in a concise and easily understood format. If you are not familiar with the product you are testing, it may not be feasible to rank the problems and recommendations. Talk about these issues with the primary stakeholders to see how they want to proceed.


Should include:            

·        information about what is and is not working

·        the severity of the problems

·        specific recommendations for improvement

·        screen shots of application

·        descriptive statistics of data collected for effectiveness and efficiency

·        Satisfaction survey results



6. Discussion
This section allows you to make any final comments that you wish to add to the Findings section. Keep it brief and reinforce the main takeaway points you wish your reader to remember.


Should include:            

·        a summary of the study, including what went well and anything that went wrong, e.g. high user cancellations

·        possible next steps for the design team

7. Appendices


Should include:            

·        introductory protocol         

·        list of tasks

·        blank data collection instruments

·        summary of qualitative comments