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User testing


This platform relies on the principles of discount usability testing that the Nielsen/Norman Group has promoted for the last 3 decades:

  • Simple tests
  • 5 or 6 individual subjects per test run
  • Test early and often
  • Perform heuristic evaluations between tests

More than any other piece of testing guidance, the most important thing to ensure when doing discount/guerilla testing is that you're not leading the user. The simple test script should be open-ended, and the test should be to get the user telling you what they're doing rather than telling them what to do next (after all, a user getting stuck is a useful result!).


See the UX principles docs page for the heuristic and Gestalt priorities for the platform.

To save test subjects' time and to clear up obvious potential issues, the UX practitioner should perform heuristic analysis following the insights of a test. The team should then update the site based on those analyses before performing more user tests.


Here's a script that can be copy/pasted and adapted to the particulars of the test you're looking to run:

"Navigate to the FAQ page, then read out loud the second question on that page. Please describe out loud what you're doing as you do it."

As the user describes what they are doing, note what they describe for any navigation dead-ends, ambiguous links or impediments, and other usability issues that the user describes. Seek clarification or expansion if there's anything they say that isn't totally clear. Repeat the test with up to 6 users to get a variety of results.

If there is agreement between two or more users (or a single user makes an easy-to-fix insight) about a particular usability issue, it is likely worth addressing.