Participating in Usability Sessions


Thank you for agreeing to participate in the usability study of the {site or application}.  Before we begin, I will briefly go over what a usability session consists of, what will be expected of you, and what our goals are in conducting this study.

The first thing that I want to make clear is that we are testing the application and NOT you.  If you find errors or if you have any difficulties with the application, it is very likely that other people visiting the site will also experience those same difficulties.  We will use this information to better understand how we might try to improve {site or application}.

During the Session:

1.      Tasks:

You will be asked to perform a series of tasks using the {site or application}.  The tasks are structured to determine if the most important information and features of the site are easy to locate and use.  We ask that you try to accomplish the tasks without assistance, as if you were at home trying to find the information on your own.  This gives us a better idea of the things that work well or the difficulties people experience. Anytime during the session, if you find yourself thinking that you would quit the task, use help, contact someone for assistance, or visit another site to accomplish your goal, please let us know.

2.      Test Facilitator and Observers:

One member of the User Experience Group will act as the test facilitator assisting you in getting started and answering any questions you may have.   Another member of the User Experience Group will observe and take notes.  Representatives from the {client} team may also be present to observe the session and take notes.

3.      Think Aloud Protocol:

To help the observers understand the way you use the application, you will be asked to “think aloud” as you complete the tasks.  This simply means that we ask you to talk about what you are doing, what you are looking for, clicking on, wishing you could find, etc.  In other words, any task-related thought that comes into your mind we would like for you to share aloud.  Some people find this easy right away, while others need to be reminded a little.  It may seem a bit odd to talk about every step that you are dong, but it really helps the observers understand how the application is working.

After the Session:

1.      User Satisfaction Questionnaire

The user satisfaction questionnaire is a short questionnaire that asks you about a few general aspects of the system.  It will only take a few minutes for you to complete.

2.      Questions

If you have any further questions for the facilitator or members of the {client} team, you will have the opportunity to ask them at that time.