Week 7 – Preparing the test “scripts”

Part of the preparations for the usability test I am performing next week was to prepare some “scripts” that will help me to remember all the details I must give to the participants when introducing them to the test, some follow-up questions after each program, as well as a mini post-test interview.

Introduction script

(Welcome the participant)

Hello, _X_ and thank you for coming today. As you probably know, I’m doing an internship with Outreachy, and I’m learning about usability testing. So today I am going to guide you through a usability testing session for GNOME. But before we begin I will share with you some information that will help you to better understand why we are doing this and how the test is going to take place.

(Purpose of the test)

In general, a usability test is a technique that help us evaluate a program and let us see whether a program is easy or hard to use. I want to make it clear that we are not here to test you, but the design of some applications.

If you feel a little “lost” or confused during the test that’s perfectly normal. I’m going to give you one task at a time. If you feel like you’re stuck on a task, that’s okay too. Just let me know and we’ll move on to the next task. Plus, I will be here to help.

(Short GNOME presentation)

As I told you at the beginning, today we are going to test a few GNOME programs. Do you know about GNOME? GNOME is a very popular open source desktop environment for Linux and BSD based systems. Windows and Mac OS are desktop environments too, so GNOME is similar to those. A desktop environment is a set of programs that provide functionalities like files browsing, web navigation, images and documents viewing, text editing and many others.

(Thinking aloud)

So let’s start. I am going to give you one task at a time and I want you to think aloud – this will help me understand what you are looking for or what you are trying to do. For example, if you are trying to print and you are looking for a Print icon, just say out loud ‘I’m looking for a Print icon.’ I’ll be taking notes as you go, and this will help me to write down what you are doing during the usability test, and what you are looking for.

Please read every task entirely before you accomplish it.

When you feel you have finished a task please let me know, so we can pass to the next one.

(Hand the first task to the user)

Specific follow-up questions


Task #2

  • Do you think displaying files as a list provides you a better visibility on the files?
  • If yes, would you have thought doing this by yourself? Why?

Task #5

  • Can you show me where the location of the folder was saved ?
  • Did you know there is another way to do it?(drag and drop or bookmark option)

Evince + Characters:

Task #2:

  • Why did you choose this method for searching?

General follow-up questions

  • Did you find this program easy to use? Do you have any remarks on its usability?
  • What were your expectations regarding … ?
  • You seemed a little bit lost when you were trying to … . What would have made your task easier?
  • (Was it easy for you to find how to …? If no, how could this be easier to reach for you ?)

Post-test questions

Thank you very much for accepting my invitation for this usability test. I would like to ask you some final questions about this experience:

  • What is your overall impression of GNOME?
  • Do you feel familiar with the interface in general?
  • Which tasks made you feel the most comfortable/uncomfortable?
  • Did things seem to get easier during the test, or harder, or stay about the same?


This information is optional, but it helps us to analyze the test results.

Name:    __________________________________________________________

Gender:  __________________________________________________________

Age: (circle or check one)

  • 15–25
  • 25–35
  • 35–45
  • 45–55
  • 55–65

Have you used GNOME before? (circle or check one)

  • I have used GNOME before.
  • I have used GNOME before, but only a little bit.
  • I have never used GNOME before.

How often do you use a computer? (circle or check one)

  • I rarely or never use a computer.
  • I use a computer a few times a week.
  • I use a computer every day.
  • I use a computer all the time.

What are your technical skills? (circle or check one)

  • I don’t know anything about technology or how computers work.
  • I know a little about computers, enough to get by.
  • I know a lot about computers; my friends sometimes ask me for help.
  • I feel I know more about computers than others around me.
  • I consider myself an expert in computers.

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