Welcome to Happy Stories! Every week we’ll keep you up-to-date on the latest developments in the area of UX research and testing of digital products. Tests ensure happy users and that makes us happy. Hence the name; Happy Stories. Last week we’ve shared our Test Script Template and this week we’ll give you some tips and tricks on how to write an excellent test-script yourself so you’ll become the Spielberg of your user tests!
At the end of this article you will know:
✓ Why you should write a test-script
✓ What parts should be included in your test-script
✓ How to use your test-script
The importance of a test-script
The basis for a successful test is good preparation. By working out the test in advance to the smallest detail, the test day will be a smooth ride . A test-script will help you plan the test and give you a clear overview of all the different parts of the test.
Test-Script from A to Z
A well written test script contains at least the following parts of information: Target Users, Focus Area, Hypotheses, Tasks and Metrics. Working these parts out in detail is the basis of an excellent test-script.
You can You can retrieve information from your target user by conducting a pre-test interview. You might ask a few questions about their background and you can try to find out if you can match a situation with the scenario that you have made up beforehand. Having a clear view of your target user will help you understand their choices better and will help you draw more deliberate conclusions.
Testing your entire product directly seems tempting, because you have invested in respondents, test locations and testers. Yet it is better to make a clear focus in your test. What is currently the biggest priority? You can find out by talking to your end-user in advance, calling in customer service or just starting with the most important function of your application. When you clearly understand the focus of your test, it will also be a lot easier to set up test tasks that fit the focus.
Writing your tasks is like writing a movie script. Write in clear language what the context of the task is and what is expected from the test person. Keep in mind to write your taks within the scope of your focus area! During the test you should take notice of the following things:
- Expectations: Do the functionalities work as expected?
- Understanding: Are all functionalities clear and understandable?
- Behaviour: Where do people look and click, which elements are used / not used?
- Experience: How do people experience and enjoy the idea or product?
An example of a task could be:
You have ordered a new sweater on [website]. Find out when your sweater is delivered.
When the test tasks are clear you can draw up task-based hypotheses. Doing this helps you understand your target user better and will help you find out if your expectations match with the real world.
Planning & Supplies
Include a schedule in your test script and set a timetable for this. Also make sure that you know which items you need during the test and that these items are actually present on the day itself, so you do not come across any surprises.
Last but definitely not least, it is of great importance to make your hypotheses and tasks measurable by defining test metrics. This way you can determine whether a test(task) is successfully executed and further steps are necessary. Common metrics are; successfully executed (y/n) and task time.
You are the Spielberg
Once your test-script is finished it is time to use it! During the test, you are the director and it is your task to follow the test-script and make sure others do as well. Make sure the test tasks are carried out, keep an eye on the timetable and above all make sure that your test subjects are comfortable and know what to do.
An Excellent Test-Script Template
Writing a test-script yourself can be quite time-consuming. Now you know what you should include in your test-script it should be a piece of cake! Still too lazy to set it up yourself? Download our test-script template below.