Usability Testing

A valuable way to test and capture target user insight for existing website, app and digital device experiences as well as new design concepts

Usability testing is an established method to test and evaluate users’ existing digital, web or app experiences as well as test to-be, new concepts and designs for future development and release.


Usability testing is performed with a representative cross-section of different user types. The number of users tested depend on the number and variety of different user audiences the client is seeking to target, but typically 3-4 users per main user type are recommended. This allows for the identification of potential patterns/themes in behaviours or need emerge, providing clarity of insight and direction to inform future design change and recommendations. Focused Usability testing may also be nested with user interview sessions too.

User testing can take on a variety of differing formats depending the context and scope of the experience under test. Practical considerations, such as time and client budget availability will have a bearing to play on what form and size the usability test may take.

Usability testing may be:

  • Moderated: meaning each session is facilitated by a moderator/researcher who interacts directly with the user to ask questions and observer the user first-hand

  • Unmoderated: meaning each session is pre-scripted with users performing/answering a set of on-screen questions and tasks, recording their verbal responses, interaction and navigation behaviours as they move through the website/digital service.

Moderated tests allow for a more open exploration of user behaviours, needs and preferences. They enable the moderator to explore and adapt their lines of questioning according to a users in session
behaviours and perspectives. Testing within a session can be done on one or two-device types and maybe conducted face-to-face or remotely via screenshare.

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  • Effective way to identify user challenges and issues with current digital experience
  • Capture objective evidence from users to inform future recommendations/design
  • De-risks build and development by building from a position of strength and insight
  • Particularly relevant in Discovery (as-is) and throughout a project’s design stages (to-be)


Moderated usability testing with users of assistive technology helped our client Translink – the public transport provider in Northern Ireland – refine their approach to journey planning and ticket purchasing, and also helped us develop an interface that could be used by all, regardless of technology, ability or demographic. 

The output

  • A detailed report documenting key usability issues, and recommendations for fixing problems.
  • A two hour play back session that includes clips of user interactions.
If you'd like to find out more about Usability Testing please get in touch with Nick today.

Nick Rudd
Director of Growth

+44 7540 470305