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The Usability Testing Process (diagram)

The usability testing process

Chinese translation of the diagram and article (by Ryana). Russian translation of the diagram and article (by Dmitry Satin).

Are you interested in a high-res print out of this diagram for putting up on the cork board by your office desk?

Download the A4 Poster PDF for free.
Usability Testing Process Poster (A4 PDF) (downloaded 2229 times)

Send me a pic: Did you put it up at work? Is it looking good? Take a pic and mail it to me or upload the pic and send me a link. I’d love to know where you’ve put it up and how it looks. You can mail me at hello at conetrees dot com

A usability test consists of the following steps:

1- Usability test planning
2.1- Participant Recruitment
2.2 Scenario & Task creation
3- Execute the usability test/ conduct usability test sessions
4- Data Analysis
5- Reporting
6- Usability test recommendation incorporation checkpoint

I will follow up with another post to explain the steps in detail, but for now, here is some detail on step 6. Step 6 is not mentioned in most generic usability testing processes, but I want to stress upon it since it is plays a good role in optimizing the usability test process.

After you report the usability test findings and recommendations, stakeholders will agree to incorporate a certain number of recommendations. After the period for incorporating usability test recommendations has passed, you should hold a checkpoint meeting for the following purpose:

  • To see how many of those suggestions agreed upon have actually been incorporated. There is no point of conducting usability test after test if recommendations (that everyone agrees will improve the usability of the product tested) are not incorporated. You don’t want to keep conducting usability tests where you come out with recommendations, stakeholders agree on incorporating some, and then everybody forgets about it. And in the next test, you come out with many of them same old ones— this is simply not a very optimal way of doing things. This checkpoint thus helps you mitigate what I think is a concern worth addressing.
  • Using data, conclude whether those suggestions did or did not improved the usability of your product (or the portion/ section you tested upon), recommendation by recommendation. In case they did, you may want to find out if there is any further scope of improvement. And in case they did not, you may want to understand what wrong assumptions were made while giving particular recommendations and learn from them so you can avoid them in similar cases in the future.
Creative Commons License
The Usability Testing Process Diagram by Abhay Rautela is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.

The only derivative work that I allow of this diagram is translation. Once you are done, let me know and I’ll link back to it.


  1. Ryana said on March 16, 2010 at 9:11 am |

    Hi Abhay,

    Thank you for creating such great diagram! And I love it so much that I have translated it into Chinese:


  2. Abhay (Cone Trees) said on March 16, 2010 at 8:56 pm |

    Glad you like it Ryana. Hmmm, I did say no derivatives in the license but I see you’ve kept the credits intact. So, nice job with the translation. Thanks for doing it. I’ve linked to it in the post.

  3. Dmitry Satin said on March 17, 2010 at 1:42 am |

    Abhay, good diargam and thoughts about checkpoint meeting!

    We translated your post to Russian

    (with your kind permission, of course)

    Thank you!

  4. Abhay (Cone Trees) said on March 18, 2010 at 8:57 am |

    Glad you like it Dmitry. Nice work with the translation. Thanks for doing it. I’ve linked to it as well.

  5. melinda said on April 5, 2010 at 7:51 pm |

    Any chance you’d update the text on 2.2 to say, “Recruit Participants”? (It would be consistent with the rest of the copy.)

    Nice, simple diagram!

  6. Abhay (Cone Trees) said on April 5, 2010 at 8:05 pm |

    Good job with catching the typo. Fixed.

  7. vipin said on January 11, 2011 at 12:16 pm |

    Great stuff, thanks for sharing this with us.

  8. Chris Rouman said on January 6, 2012 at 2:04 am |

    Nice looking diagram; simple and to the point. It’s a good addition to documentation in general but also if you are in a position where selling user testing is an issue… and sometimes it is for me.

  9. alice said on February 24, 2012 at 12:40 pm |

    Nice post.Hoping this could be translated on Swedish translation as well.

  10. ConeTrees said on October 24, 2012 at 1:41 am |

    Thanks for your comment Chris, and I’m glad you can use it.

  11. ConeTrees said on October 24, 2012 at 1:42 am |

    @alice: Go for it, let me know when you do it and I’ll link out to it.

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