Usability Testing Event Diagnosis Checklist (template)

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Summary:

When usability tests detect "non-correct" user behaviors, you still need a way to pinpoint the source of the problem. Is it a problem with the test itself, with the tasks you're asking your users to perform, or something else altogether? In hundreds of usability tests, the checklist offered here has been shown to be a useful tool for answering those questions--allowing the tester to categorize the type of problem that a test subject is having.

When usability tests detect "non-correct" user behaviors, you still need a way to pinpoint the source of the problem. Is it a problem with the test itself, with the tasks you're asking your users to perform, or something else altogether? In hundreds of usability tests, the checklist offered here has been shown to be a useful tool for answering those questions--allowing the tester to categorize the type of problem that a test subject is having.

The list is designed to be scanned in order, from top to bottom, until a match is found. The assumption at each level is that prior items have been eliminated as the cause of the problem. While in practice there may not even be time to physically scan the checklist, with enough use you'll be able to refer to it mentally as a framework for quickly classifying a problem. The checklist is divided into three main categories: Test Procedure Problems, Task Knowledge Problems, and Computerized Process Problems.

Usability Testing Event Diagnosis Checklist

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About the author

Bob Stahl's picture Bob Stahl

Bob Stahl is the president of The Testing Center in Bodega Bay, California. He has thirty-four years of experience designing and testing software. He can be reached at stahl@testingcenter.com.

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