Usability Test Script: What Is It and Why Do You Need One?

Usability Test Script: What Is It and Why Do You Need One?

A usability test reveals a lot about what people think of your website or application. This feedback helps developers identify what’s good about their product, what needs improving, and how to correct any issues.

To ensure the feedback from a usability test is relevant, accurate, and actionable, developers typically create a usability test script. This script serves as a written guide for moderators (the people conducting the usability test) to follow, ensuring they ask the right questions, guide users through the test, and receive valuable feedback.

In this article, you’ll learn what a usability test script is and how to create one. You’ll also learn about Orient Software’s approach to software testing.

What Is a Usability Test Script?

For example, usability test script is a written document that guides moderators through the process of conducting a usability test. It defines the structure of the usability test, describing to moderators what they should ask and tell users to do before, during, and after the usability test. The script also provides context to the usability test, including its purpose and the outcomes the developers hope to achieve.

What’s the Difference Between Usability Testing & User Acceptance Testing?

Usability testing evaluates user behavior, showing developers how people use their product and their opinions on the experience. So, what is user acceptance testing? User acceptance testing evaluates the product’s functionality, uncovering potential critical errors that cause the product to function incorrectly.

Benefits of Usability Test Scripts

There are many benefits to creating a successful usability test script. It helps streamline the usability test, ensuring the transition from introduction to conclusion goes smoothly. It also helps the development team generate consistently insightful data, which they can use to address issues and enhance the quality of the final product. Let’s explore these benefits in more detail.

Streamline the Usability Test

Giving the moderator a structure to follow makes it easier for them to conduct the usability test. The script instructs the moderator on what to say and when to ask questions. This helps keep the usability test moving along at an efficient pace, ensures the right data is collected, and establishes a positive rapport between the moderator and the user.

Generate More Insightful Data

Having a consistent structure makes the usability test easy to repeat. Even if usability test results vary from one user to another, the process of conducting it is the same each time, and the data is organized into categories for easy reference.

This helps improve data quality, accuracy, and consistency, as there is no risk of human error producing unexpected results. Furthermore, the development team receives higher-quality feedback, which they can use to improve the final product.

Increase the Quality of the Final Product

Usability tests are a great learning experience. Developers learn about their product and their users. They uncover issues, discover improvements, and monitor user behavior and preferences.

Developers often don’t get these insights until the usability test phase, as their product has – up until that point – only been known to exist in the development environment. For this reason, the usability test script must be written in such a way that the usability test uncovers the proper insights.

By learning what people do and don’t like about their product, developers can use this feedback to improve the user experience.

Read more: What Are the Different Software Testing Types?

How a Usability Test Script is Created

Are you planning on outsourcing to a dedicated software team? Understanding a team’s approach to testing can help you judge how serious they are about quality assurance. You can then use this information to decide which software development team meets your high standards.

Here’s a step-by-step breakdown of how a good usability test script is created.


The first step to creating a usability testing script is to write the introduction. The purpose of the introduction is to welcome the user and explain how the usability test will go. It also serves as a good opportunity for the moderator and user to establish a positive rapport with one another.

The introduction should also encourage the user to be as honest as possible with their feedback.

Below is a sample of what a typical usability test introduction may look like:

Welcome! Thank you for participating in today’s usability test. The purpose of this usability test is to evaluate the user experience for an upcoming mobile fitness app.

In this test, we’ll ask you to perform specific tasks within the app and ask you questions along the way. We’ll also ask you a few wrap-up questions and give you the opportunity to share your feedback in the end.

Your moderator is not responsible for creating the product you’ll be using today. So, please be as open and honest as possible with your feedback. Your input will be invaluable in improving the quality of the final product.

User Questions

The next step is to ask questions about the user and their background. The purpose of these questions is to better understand the target audience and to see how people of different familiarity levels respond to the product.

Questions to ask a user may include:

  • Their job and day-to-day responsibilities
  • Demographic questions – e.g., age, gender, education
  • How familiar they are with your products similar to yours
  • Any other data that may be relevant to the test

Each question should be relevant to the usability test and the outcomes the developing team is looking for. It is also worth noting that the usability test is about the software and not the user, so the user should be reassured that their abilities are not being judged.

This part of the script should also confirm that the moderator has the user’s consent to participate in the usability test.

Usability Tasks

Now is where the usability test begins. Here, the script sets out the number and type of tasks for the user to perform, of which the average is around 6 to 8 user tasks.

The usability tasks should reflect how real users interact with the product. The goal is not to break or push the boundaries of what the product can do – that’s what the quality assurance (QA) team is for – but to ensure the product works as intended.

Furthermore, the user should be told “what” to do but not “how” to do it. The aim is to see how well a user can perform specific tasks. Lighting the pathway for them defeats the purpose of the usability test.

Below are the different categories of task questions:

  • Task-based – Evaluates a user’s ability to perform a specific task (e.g., Please create a new user profile in the app)
  • Feedback-based – Ask the user’s opinion and thoughts on the user experience. (e.g., What did you think of the profile creation process?)
  • Perception-based – Evaluates a user’s first impression of different aspects of the product and their thoughts on the brand and messaging. (e.g., What was your initial response to the look of the product? Did the tone and messaging match what you were expecting from this type of product?
  • Comparison-based – Ask the user what they thought of the product compared to similar ones. (e.g., How does this fitness app compare to similar ones you’ve used? Is there anything that sets this one apart?

Observe User Activity

At this stage of the usability study, the user is interacting with the product, and the moderator is observing their activity.

There should be room in the user testing script for the moderator to leave observation notes. They may note verbal and non-verbal cues, time spent on tasks, hesitations, and behavior patterns. For instance, a non-verbal cue could be a user making a frowning face, expressing their displeasure at slow loading times.

Possible observation questions to ask include:

  • Was the task as easy to perform as you thought it would be?
  • Can you think of a more efficient way to perform this task?
  • Can you walk us through your thought process during this task?
  • What problems did you encounter with this task?
  • Did your inputs deliver the expected outcomes?

Wrap-up Questions

Once the usability test is over, the moderator has the chance to learn more about the user’s thoughts on the product. These questions help solidify the observations made by the moderator, and the user can elaborate on any talking points they brought up during the usability test.

The wrap-up questions should clarify the user’s:

  • General impressions of the product
  • Likes and dislikes with the product
  • Challenges with specific tasks and
  • Final thoughts on the testing experience

Following this, the moderator thanks the user for their time and feedback.

Read more: Managed Testing Services & How It Benefits Your Business

Orient Software’s Approach to Usability Testing

Orient Software’s Approach to Usability Testing

Orient Software’s QA and software testing services help lower your development costs while improving your software quality.

Your QA and testing team consists of hand-picked experts, selected based on their skills and qualifications to suit your project needs. Through a combination of manual/exploratory testing and automated testing, every aspect of your product is tested to make sure it meets the highest quality standards.

Usability testing is conducted throughout the entire software development life cycle (SDLC), ensuring your product works in real business scenarios and in use cases that simulate target user behavior. Our usability testing gives our developers the necessary insight to address recognized issues and improve the overall user experience.

Choose Orient Software for Usability Testing

Creating a functional software application is one thing. But creating an app that people genuinely want to use is another. Orient Software’s QA and testing services efficiently detect issues early, ensuring the user experience is positive and memorable.

For more information about Orient Software’s testing procedures, contact us.

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