Design + Creative Direction


From Research Goals to Usability-Testing Scenarios: A 7-Step Method

For some usability studies, there may be an obvious and limited set of interface elements that should be tested. In many cases, however, the system is complex, new to the researcher, or the list of candidate features for testing is long. This article shows a 7-step method that helps everyone focus on the most important elements to test first, while also prioritizing everything of concern for later research.

The 7 Steps

  1. Determine the most important user tasks.
  2. Discover which system aspects are of most concern.
  3. Group items from 1 & 2, then sort issues by importance to users and organization.
  4. For each top issue, condense the information into a problem statement.
  5. For each problem statement, list research goals.
  6. For each research goal, list participant activities and behaviors.
  7. For each group of goals, write user scenarios.