eStudy 093: Introduction to Usability/UX Testing for Evaluators
eStudy 093: Introduction to Usability/UX Testing for Evaluators

Kay Corry Aubrey, Usability Consultant, Usability Resources Inc

In this session you will gain an understanding of what usability testing is, when to use it, the language of usability/User Experience and techniques for blending it with other qualitative methods. You be introduced to best practices for planning, moderating, analyzing and reporting on a usability study.  You will also learn approaches to take when running a usability study at different points in a product’s development (e.g., concept, early prototype, released product). You will gain hands-on experience with heuristic reviews and be exposed to other methods for evaluating the usability of interactive products

Learning Outcomes:

You will learn key concepts around what usability is, when to choose this method, how it relates to other forms of evaluation research, how to plan, design and report on a usability study. You will have a bibliography of the best Web sites, books, organizations and other resources to continue your journey on your own at the end of the webinar.


Pre-reading: Using the heuristic review as a method for evaluating the usability of any interactive product. Students will perform their own heuristic review of a basic Web site. The goal of this exercise is to understand the usability mind set and process for setting objectives for a usability study. 

First 90-minute session:

  • What is usability? What is a usability study?
  • Connection between the user’s mental model and intuitive design
  • Types of products that can be usability tested
  • Reasons for running a usability study
  • Where usability testing fits into the qualitative and quantitative research landscape
  • Fundamental differences between usability testing and other forms of qualitative research
  • Where usability testing fits into “Design Thinking”
  • Types of research involved in formative vs. summative usability evaluation
  • Including stakeholders in the process
  • Review of student’s heuristic review results
  • Techniques for evaluating usability issues in an interactive product (e.g., leveraging results from a heuristic review)
  • Identifying key end users/persona types to recruit
  • Developing the task list

Homework: Develop a task list for an interactive product

Second 90-minute session:

  • Best practices for moderating a usability study
  • Developing non-leading questions and probes
  • Incorporating surveys, such as the System Usability Scale and Product Reaction Cards, into the study protocol
  • Tips for managing observers
  • Data collection
  • Techniques for analyzing and synthesizing test results
  • Reporting results
  • Recruiting for a usability study
  • Considerations around selecting a venue for the usability study
  • Resources to continue your learning

Primary Audience:

This course is for both beginners and those with intermediate experiences and knowledge about the subject.

Dates and Sessions:

September 18, 12:00-1:30pm (EDT)
September 20, 12:00-1:30pm (EDT)


Kay Corry Aubrey has been a usability/UX professional for over 25 years helping organizations make their technology products more easily understandable to their targeted audiences. Since launching Usability Resources Inc in 2002, Kay’s clients have included The Broad Institute, The Mayo Clinic, Massachusetts Medical Society, Abt Associates, and the Concord Consortium. Kay trains She is a Feature Editor for the QRCA VIEWS magazine and a RIVA-certified Master Moderator and Trainer. Kay has a BA from McGill University, an MSW from Boston University and an MS in Information Systems from Northeastern University Graduate School of Engineering. She trains teams in UX/Usability and is an adjunct lecturer at Northeastern.

Facilitation Experience:

As a trainer I have taught this class for many organizations that include Abt Associates, Concord Consortium, Columbia University Libraries, AMEX, and the RIVA Training Institute.


Student Member Price- $40
Member Price- $75
Student Non-Member Price- $55
Non-Member Price- $100