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In a usability test using paper mockups for example in blog system where users can insert posts, edit posts, insert admins, edit admins, etc. If we have some use cases for the usability tests like:

  • create post
  • edit post
  • etc

We should write a context for the task and give the that text context to the user before the task but we should also besides write a context write the info that the user should write in the input fields? For example in a task where the user needs to create a post, we should write, should say to the user the title that he should type in the title field, the category he should select, and all the other necessary info that he needs to introduce? Because if each user that does the test write different things in the fields the time will be different. Or is not necessary the user to type any info in the usability test?

The goal of this paper usability test is to verify if the user achieved the proposed goal of the task, also the number of actions he had to take to get achieve the task goal, and the time he took to accomplish the task.

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It depends on your test.

In this case, do not provide info about what users to do at each given point. You want to find out if users know what they have to do and if they can complete your task. You can't provide this info 'in the real world' so do not do it during your test.

However...

In some cases you might have to do that. For example, if you have tested before and want to re-test a certain aspect of your product you might want to specify what you want your user to do.

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Usability testing should be totally impartial and not contain any Leading Questions as this will not be a true example of how your users will act in the real world.

As an example, we wanted to test a new feature which was only accessible via a new button. The users we showed this too didn't even see the button so they never made it to our new feature.

Half of us said this was a null test as the feature was never tested but the other half said this now proves that in order for the feature to even be used, we need to improve the button which is technically part of the new feature.

If the user is failing to perform a core task in your test then that's something you can take away, fix then retest.

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