How to run a Usability test

run a Usability test

While the online tech and internet companies are starting to dominate the industry, and remote work becomes mainstream, concerns about the cost to run a usability test still linger. The good news is that the leaders are more convinced than ever about the ROI of usability testing.

Usability testing turns out to be expensive in a few cases in which you: 

  • need to set up a physical usability lab
  • completely outsource usability testing to an external agency, or 
  • include diverse different segments from your target audience
  • need to combine multiple research methods beyond usability testing

Going by the simple fact that efforts directly translate to costs, large usability tests that require collecting both qualitative and quantitative data would naturally be more expensive.

So how to tackle this? Go for several small usability tests throughout the product development lifecycle – this would help you to surface some of the most impactful usability problems during product creation. That would keep the cost commitments lower and ROI will be higher. Usability tests conducted in-person or remotely in the form of in-depth interviews can be effective, however they bring in costs of logistics and time spent. Remote usability testing tools (like UXArmy’s usability testing) takes away the logistical nightmares or scheduling. On UXArmy, a usability test run with a sample size of 5 of your own testers costs USD 50. 

We will show you how you can run usability tests at a low budget.

Why Unmoderated Remote Usability Testing? 

Before taking a deep dive into how to run affordable usability tests, we first need to understand what remote usability testing is, why and when it should be preferred over in-person interview style Usability testing.

Unmoderated Remote usability testing is a method of remote research that uses an insight platform to record the screen interaction, voice and sometime face (depending on the usability testing tool you choose) of test participants as they interact with your product or experience in their natural environment—at home, in their office, or any distraction-free location.

Moderated Usability Testing: Anytime you have a user and researcher present and interacting in a present moment, it’s considered moderated usability testing. Methods of in-person usability testing may include contextual interviews, eye-tracking too.

If your participants are scattered across geographies, it may not be feasible to arrange travel to every location without spending a significant amount of time and money. The schedules need to be booked in advance, results and materials from the unmoderated tests need to be collated and then stored at one place prior to the start of analysis.

In contrast to moderated studies, in the unmoderated usability studies, participants complete usability tests without any moderator-participant interaction. The remote usability testing tools track mouse movements, record clicks or taps and record participants’ voices when they perform a task on a website or mobile application. 

How to run an Unmoderated Usability test under $50

UXArmy offers a freemium version that lets you create an unlimited number of tests and you get a free tester invite everytime you create a test.

Step 1: Set up all the materials needed for the tests. The objectives you want to achieve, the questions that you want to ask the testers, the tasks you want testers to perform, the success criterias for the tasks, target audience etc. Remember that the materials should be in inline with the objectives. An example of objective can arise from the situation if a Financial Service company has created a new Design prototype for its banking app then they would want to know how easy it is for customers to onboard that app. To get more information on how set objective and how develop materials you can visit our step by step guide for Usability Testing 

Step 2: Sign Up for the free plan! All you need is your email address. Sign up and then you can create a test in just 3 quick steps. Firstly you need to select the test type from the 3 available options (Mobile, Website and Design Prototype), Next you would have to set up the tasks and you can also integrate survey questions into the tasks and lastly you need to select the participants. One free tester invite per test is included in the Freemium plan and if you want to test with 5 testers that means that you need to buy just 4 more tester invites and that will cost you $40 (ie. $10 per tester invite).

Step 3: Lastly you need to review the test details and make the test live. You will then get the tester invite link or an invite key that you need to distribute to your testers. As soon as they perform the tasks and submit their screen recording, you’d see the results reflecting on the test dashboard. You can also download a report with all the raw data and usability metrics like Task completion time, Success rate, etc.  The analysis can be done using video playback, creating video clips and inserting notes into the video.

Important points to remember

  1. Plan your tests in advance and keep the material ready before building the tests. Always streamline your objective with the tasks and try to keep a success criteria to measure the results in quantitative terms. 
  2. Download the screen recording for future reference and critically analyze the recording to find the qualitative data. 
  3. The freemium plan allows you create unlimited tests and gives you a lifetime access to the software without any commitments or credit card details 


Usability tests are expensive is a myth that we just debunked by showing you how you can run remote unmoderated usability tests for as low as $40. We have earlier debunked 14 usability testing myths like this one – check out this article on our blog. To look through the other plans that we offer for unmoderated usability testing, click here.

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