February 28, 2015

Usability Reports Are The Life Blood

If your car attempted to operate without oil, if your body attempted to live with out air, if your usability consultancy didn't deliver reports it would not run. The creation a usability report is the life blood of why user experience professionals exist because they bring instant value. The results are what clients are waiting for because they want to know how to use usability data to improve their design. The last two weeks I had the opportunity to conduct a usability study and then produce a report for school. I enjoyed the exercise because I had the opportunity to watch other students conduct studies and learn from their techniques. I have found that as a usability pro you need to deliver two different reports for a typical study: a preliminary and comprehensive report.

Preliminary Usability Report
This usability analysis is given almost immediately after testing is complete. As an author, you highlight the top findings and give high level recommendations. The report is generally given through email and the idea is to get it into the hands of development so they can make it can make immediate impact.

Comprehensive Usability Report
This usability analysis is delivered a couple weeks after the test and takes a deep dive into analysis and recommendations. Edited video clips highlight specific patterns and trends. Screen captures of specific issues. This executive summary report takes what was reported in the preliminary report and take it to the next level.

The bottom line is a user experience professional develops usability reports to deliver valuable insights to clients which impacts their decision-making ability and builds their trust. Make sure to create a preliminary and comprehensive report when possible to get results in the hands of clients fast and then give them something to chew on. Usability reports are the life blood of a user experience professional because they simply make a difference.

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Marc A. Majers

User experience leader, author, and DJ that is collaborative in each moment to inspire continual learning and positive feelings
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