Streamlining Usability Test Analysis: Key Pointers for Efficiency 
by Ali Carmichael, Managing Director and Owner

Streamlining Usability Test Analysis: Key Pointers for Efficiency 

Speaking recently with a valued client, we discussed their team’s experience with conducting their own usability tests.

While they initially approached the task informally, they soon grew frustrated with the time spent analysing results and creating recommendations. Having worked with us, they were curious about our ability to swiftly and efficiently analyse and report on usability tests.

Whilst I would love to say we have a magical formula, of course, there isn’t one. However, on reviewing our projects and process we uncovered three key pointers to help their team to improve their focus and decisiveness during their analysis and reporting.

If you feel overwhelmed following usability testing, I hope that these considerations will help you too: 

Three pointers for efficient UT analysis

1/. Be Clear on Test Parameters 

Usability testing can yield a wealth of insights, and in an in-house setting, it’s easy to consider every participant’s input as valuable for the entire business. To stay focused, it’s crucial to define the specific objectives for each round of testing and park any findings that fall outside those criteria. Clarifying the scope of the test allows for more targeted analysis.

2/. Limit Notetaking 

With a clear understanding of the test’s objectives, you can enhance your efficiency by restricting your notetaking. Concentrate on documenting the observed usability issues rather than participants’ subjective opinions or perspectives. If you need to gather opinions, keep those notes separate and review them independently from your observational findings. This approach ensures a clearer analysis of usability problems. 

3/. Establish Key Findings in Advance 

Once the testing phase is complete, set aside your notes temporarily and identify the five most significant findings. Trust your instincts, which are often accurate. By listing these key findings, you can then delve into the details, revisiting your notes and reviewing video recordings. This process will generate additional insights while maintaining a structured approach. 

Quality always wins

While efficiency is important, it’s crucial to prioritise accuracy and effectiveness over speed when it comes to usability testing analysis and reporting. If usability testing is not your primary job role, it’s perfectly acceptable if it takes you longer than dedicated practitioners. 

Just as changing an oil filter in your car can be achieved a few ways; undertaken by yourself, through your local friendly garage, or via mechanics who specialise in your car’s make and model; each has its own trade-offs between cost, speed, and quality – and so different approaches to your testing and analysis are valid, but you need to accept the differences.     

A priority is to ensure your research and testing skills are up to par. But what matters most is that you dedicate the necessary time to reach a confident outcome. So, embrace these pointers, refine your process, and achieve a balance between efficiency and quality in your usability test analysis.

Whatever you do, keep on usability testing! 


UX Consultant Emma Peters

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