Usability Test Plan & Materials

100 points


The purpose of this assignment is to demonstrate the necessity for careful planning of a usability test, and for you to gain experience in producing a formal test plan as well as to emphasize the necessity for creating all test materials in advance of administering a usability test, so as to ensure that the materials will help yield the required results. The plan will explain the purpose of your test, the users you intend to test, the methods you will use, the evaluation measures you will use, and the planned test report contents. Materials should include a careful preparation of test materials that makes administering the test, analyzing the data, and reporting on the results considerably easier.

Following the sample in Barnum’s book, prepare a test plan that contains each of the headings used in the sample. In the Test Procedure section, include a task table, as discussed in class. Pay particular attention to the evaluation measures you intend to use, and try to make them as objective and quantitative as possible. Materials should rely on the examples in Barnum’s Chapter 6, Tullis & Albert’s Chapter 3, and those we discuss in class, prepare each type of test material listed on pages 163-184. As you do so, keep constantly in mind the purpose and objectives for your test as you defined them in your test plan. The purpose of the materials is to help you elicit as much information as possible to achieve those objectives, while further ensuring that your results are valid and are not affected by too many extraneous variables.

The materials should be as detailed as possible. For example, you should write down the specific questions and wording you intend to use in pre- and post-test interviews, rather than simply describing the types of questions you will ask. Using this level of specificity helps crystallize your thinking about which questions will help you achieve your goals.

The plan will probably be around 8-10 pages, depending on what you are testing and on how well you incorporate lists and tables into the plan. Materials should probably be about 10 pages or longer depending on formating. Remember that the plan may serve multiple rhetorical purposes: as a planning device for you, as information to other development teams, and as a document with social and political implications within your organization.

Our usability test will be directed at the department’s English Department Internship Program web page. Some of the tasks and populations that use the website include:
  • Filling out the online application form (students)
  • Filling out recommendation forms (faculty, for students)
  • Instructing students to submit resume, cover letter and writing samples via email.
  • Filling out scholarship application (students)
The more ambiguous uses of the site include:
  • To provide a list of places former students have interned.
  • To list basic requirements of enrolling in ENG 350.
  • To offer written guidance on interviewing and resume-writing skills.
  • To be a point of contact for potential employers.


  • Usability Test Plan
  • Usability Test Materials
  • Initial personas


  • All drafts and work should be submitted through Eli Review

Rubric and Examples if available