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Chapter 05: Test Plans and Designs

Chapter 05: Test Plans and Designs

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Published by Taige Zhang
A sample test plan including sections for overall objectives, research questions, location and setup, recruiting participants, and methodology.
A sample test plan including sections for overall objectives, research questions, location and setup, recruiting participants, and methodology.

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Published by: Taige Zhang on Mar 27, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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H.com Usability Baseline
Test Plan – FINAL
Parts of 
have been tested or evaluated for usability, but therehas been no overall look at the entire site. The result is an unevenexperience for visitors to the site, which may lead to problems withcompleting reservations. To gather objective data to begin to createbaseline usability measures, we will conduct a usability test thattakes a holistic look at the site.
Overall objectives for the study
We will gather baseline data about the overall effectiveness of 
. The goals of this study are to:
Assess the overall effectiveness of 
for differenttypes of users performing basic, common tasks.
Identify obstacles to completing room reservations on thesite.
Create a repeatable usability study protocol.
Research questions
In addition, in this study will try to answer these questions:
How easily and successfully do travelers get started withmaking a reservation on the site?
Does the starting point make any difference in whethertravelers are successful in reaching their goal on
? If so,what are the differences?
What paths do travelers take to completing a booking?
How well does the site support the paths and goals of thetravelers? That is, how closely does the organization and flowof the site match travelers’ expectations?
What obstacles do travelers encounter on the way tocompleting a booking, whether using a credit card or rewards?
What questions do travelers ask as they work through theirreservation?
How do travelers feel about how long it takes them tocomplete an online booking, both the perceived of time andthe number of steps?At the end of the sessions, we will have quantitative data:
Errors in completing a reservation – we will know where theparticipant selected the wrong link to reach the goal, taking“wrong turns”
Errors by starting point or path – we will know how manyand which errors participants made after starting out at aspecific point, and we will be able to determine whether thestarting point affects the number and types of errors madefurther down the path
Whether participants completed reservations – we willknow, even if participants make errors on the way, if they cancomplete the reservationWe’ll also have qualitative data:
 The verbal protocol – the running commentary thatparticipants make as they think aloud – will give us indicatorsabout what participants were confused by and why
Debriefing interviews will tell us what stands out about theexperience of using the site, which should help us setpriorities on potential changes to the site
Location and setup
We’ll use a controlled setting to conduct the sessions. The study willtake place in the rented market research facility of Acme Researchin Fresno, California. There will be a testing room with a one-waymirror to an observation room. Participants will use a Windows PCand Internet Explorer 6.0 with a high-speed connection to theInternet. The PC that the participant uses will also have Moraerecorder installed on it and a web camera attached. The webcamera will capture the participant’s face; the Morae software willrecord what’s happening on the screen (and can collect other data).I will bring a digital voice recorder to the sessions to create a set of audio recordings for backup.
Recruiting participants
We will select participants who have a variety of experiencebooking travel and accommodations. They will be people who booktheir own travel and who stay in hotels. UsabilityWorks will recruit 8participants with the characteristics outlined in the following table.
CharacteristicDesired number of participants
Participant type
Total number of participants 14Travel frequency
1–5 trips per year
moderately often:
6–12 trips per year
very often:
13 or more trips per year444
Types of travel
mostly businessmostly leisure66
Booking experience
book their own trips and accommodationsbook online most of the timebook on the phone or other methodall66
femalemale66We will exclude people who are
travel agents or work in the travel industry
meeting, party, or event planners
association/convention staff 

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