Usability Test Plan


To: Karen Thompson, Project Manager, Techwrite

From: Brock, Jeremiah, Joran, Miranda, Communication Consultants, Techwrite
Date: February, 23, 2012
Subject: Usability Test Plan

We plan to conduct a usability test of the IKEA Dishwasher Infographic. The goals of this usability test include: establishing a baseline of user performance, establishing and validating user performance measures, identifying potential design concerns to be addressed in order to improve the effectiveness of the infographic and viewer satisfaction.

The usability test objectives are:

  • To determine design inconsistencies and usability problem areas within the info-graphic content areas. Potential sources of error may include:
    • Clutter – too noisy to effectively convey information
    • Presentation Errors – failure to locate and properly act upon desired information due to labeling ambiguities.
    • Wrong Message – Does our info-graphic express the wrong message simply due to the symbols and statistical data used?
  • Display info-graphic under controlled test conditions with representative users. Data will be used to access whether usability goals regarding an effective, efficient, and well-received user experience has been achieved.
  • Establish baseline user performance and user-satisfaction levels of the info-graphic for future usability evaluations.This usability test will attempt to determine the effectiveness of the info-graphic for IKEA dishwashers. We will measure this with triangulation of multiple tests: the pre-test screening, observations and an informal interview of the tested as they examine the info-graphic, and a follow-up questionnaire. Upon review of this usability test plan and usability goals for the IKEA Dishwasher info-graphic–documented acceptance of the plan is expected.


Methodology-This section explores the methodologies employed in evaluating the usability of the IKEA dishwasher info-graphic


  • The number of participants shall be 20 (5 participants/group member).  The setting for the usability test session’s will take place in three locations (Moscow, ID; Coeur d’ Alene, ID; Kihei,HI.)
  • These individuals will be recruited by age, income status, need. The participants’ responsibilities will be: to attempt to complete a set of representative task scenarios presented to them in as efficient and timely a manner as possible, and to provide feedback regarding the usability and acceptability of the info-graphic. The participants will be directed to provide honest opinions regarding the design of the info-graphic and the personal impact of it, and to participate in post-session subjective questionnaires and debriefing.
  • The pre-screening will attempt to filter participants to our desired demographic. We will look for people who are 18-55 years old and are in secure economic standing. The pre-screening will involve an informal verbal question and answer.


  • Participants will take part in the usability test at a public location (i.e. coffee shop) in the USA (Moscow,Id; Coeur d’ Alene,Id; Maui , HI). A printed version of the info-graphic will be displayed to the participant. The participant’s interaction with the info-graphic will be monitored by a facilitator in the same room.
  • The facilitator will brief the participants on the info-graphic and instruct the participant that they are evaluating the info-graphic, rather than the facilitator evaluating the participant.  The facilitator will ask the participant if they have any questions.
  • The facilitator will instruct the participant to ‘think aloud’ so that a verbal record exists of their interaction with the info-graphic. The facilitator will observe and enter user behavior, and user comments into a written log.
  • After observing and commenting on the info-graphic, the participant will complete the post-task questionnaire and elaborate on the session with the facilitator.

   Scenario Completion:

  • Each scenario will require, or request, that the participant view the info-graphic and answer a questionnaire.  The scenario is completed when the participant indicates the scenario’s goal has been obtained (whether successfully or unsuccessfully) or the participant requests and receives sufficient guidance that warrants scoring the scenario as a critical error.

  Subjective Evaluations:

  • Subjective evaluations regarding visual appeal of the info-graphic will be collected via questionnaires, and during debriefing at the conclusion of the session.  The questionnaires will utilize likert rating scales.
  • Triangulating our subjective evaluation responses with our free form “Think Aloud Protocol” and our pretest screening should help compensate for biases commonly found in likert scaled questionnaires (social bias,central tendency bias, and acquiescence bias)

  Scenario Completion Time (Time on Task):

  • The time to complete each scenario, including subjective evaluation durations, will be recorded.

  Model of Collaboration:

  • The group worked in a layered model. All members cooperated evenly to come up with the usability test plan. Different members focused on different areas of the plan and molded these ideas together to form the present usability test format.

  Communication Tools:

  • For this project, the group exchanged many ideas via e-mail. Those ideas were then put into a shared Google doc, which was often edited in real time while using the chat sidebar.

  Individual Thoughts and Suggestions:

  • Jeremiah Akin: I would like to work on doing more “hangouts.” I have a pretty busy schedule, and I know everyone else is busy as well, but I think that it would  help us to work better together if we planned one or two hangouts a week. Personally, I think it would encourage me to work more diligently on the projects for this class if I knew we were scheduled to meet and talk about lessons and project expectations.
  • Joran Beasley: I concur that the team should do google hangouts more often…and there is even a google+ app for i-phone that allows hangouts. I felt that email was not as effective and sometimes emails would only go to part of the group so parts of the discussion were missing.
  • Miranda Ragan: It is easiest for the group to work on the document simultaneously while using the chat bar. Meeting in real time would help to share ideas and thoughts verbally. Email makes communication in a timely manner difficult because  of the time wasted in between responses.
  • Brock Poole: I agree with the above thoughts and suggestions. While the chat function within Google docs is convenient, it does not provide the real time asset that Google Hangout provides. I also recognize the inconvenience that Google Hangout burdens individuals with,however, I am open to all options and will work with each group member to help this groups function succeed including,meeting once or more a week within Google Hangout, continued use of the chat function within Google docs and a more function-able use of emails.

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