Mastering usability testing


Wednesday, 30 October
9.00am - 12.30pm
Te Papa


UX Designers, Product Managers, and junior UX Researchers




“You are not the user” is a classic UX mantra for a reason. Too often, businesses don’t take the time to test their websites or products outside of the company walls because they assume that their users are just like them. But testing with real, representative users is essential to creating products that are truly user-centric. In this workshop, you will learn how to plan and conduct usability testing efficiently and effectively so that you can get high-quality, honest user insights in a short period of time.

Through a combination of lectures, group discussion and fun hands-on exercises, we’ll cover the entire usability testing process from planning to execution to analysis. We'll also be sure to cover both moderated and unmoderated testing and in-person and remote testing. By the end of the workshop, you'll have the understanding and confidence to run usability testing studies on your own.

  • Identify situations where usability testing could be applied to uncover insights about how people use your products
  • Define high-level research questions and translate them into a discussion guide containing specific participant scenarios and follow-up probes
  • Recruit potential participants and screen them to ensure that they exhibit any characteristics of interest and will give candid, honest feedback
  • Get set up for test day, including structuring test sessions so that they flow easily, creating a plan for recording data, and troubleshooting any technical difficulties
  • Create a warm, genuine rapport with participants (whether in-person or remote) to quickly make them comfortable speaking with you
  • Apply strategies to dig deeper into participants’ thoughts, feelings, and reactions during the test session without biasing their behaviour
  • Analyze data from test sessions efficiently to extract key insights, identify root causes of users’ problems, and generate potential solutions
  • Create actionable recommendations based on insights and share them with stakeholders.

Elizabeth Allen is a UX researcher, cognitive psychology PhD and sporadic banjo-player based in Toronto, Canada. She is the founder & principal of Brazen, a UX research consultancy that helps clients such as Mozilla, Shopify and Wealthsimple identify and solve critical UX problems in their digital and physical products. In addition to doing research, Elizabeth spends a great deal of time teaching, including two online courses on UX research methods for O’Reilly Media and has lectured on psychology and research design at The University of Chicago. When she isn't working, Elizabeth tries to give back by mentoring through HexagonUX and serving on conference committees for UXPA and Strive.


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