How I conduct a usability testing study

One of the easiest ways to improve conversion rate is to do usability testing sessions.  Here’s the format.


  1. Post an ad on craigslist, in the Computer Gigs section.  Here is some example text you can use:


  2. Use a tool like to schedule participants.
  3. When people arrive, greet them.  Tell them “We’re going to be doing a usability study today to discover issues with our website.  I’m going to show you our website and then I’m going to ask you to do a few tasks.  Don’t worry if it’s difficult – we’re testing the website, not you.  In fact, this is probably the one place today where you don’t have to worry about making any mistakes.”
  4. Warm people up by asking them about their background.  What do they do for work.  Where do they spend time on the Internet.  These are easy questions to warm them up and get them talking.
  5. Open your website in an incognito browser tab.  Ask them: “What is this site?  What can you do here?  Who and what is it for?”  If people have questions, tell them politely that you can’t share any information, because you’re interested in their raw responses.   Ask them to narrate their inner monologue as they browse the site…
  6. Then, have people do the most important key actions to your user experience.  For example: creating an account.  Posting a task.  etc….
  7. Once they’re done, thank them and pay them.


It’s that simple.  You should write down their feedback and problem areas as you go.  By the end of each session you should have a few pages of notes.  If you consistently changes to address your challenges, your user experience will gradually improve and your conversion rates will climb.