How to Conduct a Usability Study: A Complete Recipe & Checklist

I’ve conducted several usability tests for different web applications but it’s still time consuming to plan and I always feel like I’m forgetting something. Many people know the importance of doing usability studies but not so many are able to do it well.

Similar to me, many developers, designers, and product managers fell into this UX role and had to learn it themselves. It’s taken me a while to learn how to conduct effective, valuable user testing so I thought I’d write a guide and checklist for those who don’t do this as their full-time job or just starting out.


If something isn’t performing well, you have to go be a detective and figure out why. That’s the essence of doing user testing.

This is something I really enjoy doing because as a product owner, you always want to build the best product possible and there’s nothing like watching real people use your product. For my maps business, I literally stood in the retail stores and watched how people responded to the product: if they noticed the product, how they responded to it, how they decided whether or not to buy, why they bought it, etc. It’s like being a modern-day Sherlock Holmes but less dangerous.