Usability testing

What is usability testing

Usability testing is a technique, used in user-centred design, that allows you to see if your users can use your application, website or service.

Usability testing will also help you to:

  • learn more about your users’ needs
  • find which parts of your service are hard to use
  • come up with ideas on how to improve your service

A usability testing session typically involves a facilitator asking a user to perform a series of tasks related to your service, while observers in another room take notes on the user’s behaviour and feedback. In some instances, the user may be asked to talk through their experience as they complete tasks or to reflect on their experience afterwards.

a typical usability session showing a participant and facilitator in the testing room, with an audio video link to another room where observers are watching the session

All of this will give you a good idea how your service might work in the real world.

What are the benefits of usability testing

  • it is a well-established way to identify common usability issues
  • it is easy to do
  • you can find most of the usability issues with only a handful of users
  • it is a low-risk way to gather feedback

The usability testing process

What you can expect when we run our usability testing:

  • an initial meeting to discuss if usability testing is right for you
  • if so, a follow-up meeting to discuss your goals and planning
  • creation of goal focused tasks
  • the usability testing sessions
  • presentation of our findings

How to request a usability study

You can begin the process by emailing the User Experience Team at