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I am conducting a usability test of a sports website. I'm trying to find potential usability errors and design flaws for my website.

I have a list of tasks that I will give to my participants to carry out.

Let's say one task is to change the email address for the user account.

Then the next task is to register for tickets for an event

Would I have to set the page back to the home page after each task or should the participant follow through the next task from the last page they were visiting?

Some links are available from certain pages, so reverting back to the home page may produce different results to that if it was just continuous (from the last page they visited).

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With the exception that you are testing the homepage, no you shouldn't. Not all users go to the homepage when they want to do a different task after completing the 1st task.

not reseting to the homepage after each task is also a good way to test your website's navigation. a good navigation will allow a user to easier navigate from any part of the website to another with a minimum number of clicks.

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Frame your features in scenarios

When assessing multiple features, you want to place your subjects at the most representative starting point for each task.

A few key questions help get you started on the right path.

  1. What is the expected context for each feature?
  2. Which features are logically related and part of a normal workflow?
  3. Which features are single-minded and should be isolated from the others?

Study scenarios to understand tasks

Create scripts to kick off your assumed scenarios, then study users completing the tasks according to their chosen path. Marvel at how wrong UX designers can be and learn all about how people really use your site/app ;-)

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