Usability Testing Services

Usability testing is our agency’s core service. Every day, our small research team moderates user testing of websites, apps and software. And every week, we help client teams align and act on their usability data — through 1-day remote workshops. We test across all major industries, audiences, and product stages — from enterprise software prototypes to live consumer apps.

Recent Usability Work

McDonald’s: Consumers

In 2020 and 2021, we led a large qualitative usability study to generate insights for a new McDonald’s program launch. Moderated over 70 remote research sessions across 12 digital platforms. Participant recruitment emphasized demographic and literacy diversity.

Thales: Enterprise B2B

We led 8 usability testing studies from 2019 to 2021 for this $18 billion multinational selling to enterprise markets. Recruited and interviewed buyers and users of enterprise security software. Designed and led workshops to observe and analyze the research as a team.

NIH: Government

In 2020 we led usability testing for a large NIH study on building trust to increase Black and Latinx participation in medical trials. Moderated 4 rounds of qualitative user testing on prototypes, with iterative design improvements throughout. Plus large-scale quantitative UX testing.

Thryv: Small Businesses

Just before the pandemic, we led a small-scale usability study for this publicly-traded software company whose products include the Yellow Pages. Tested their flagship software with 6 small business customers and prospects. Facilitated an analysis and ideation workshop.

PBS: Kids & Parents

In the summer of 2020, we led prototype UX testing with 12 pairs of parents and young children. Part of a mixed-methods study focused on digital account usage and login flows. Facilitated a remote workshop with project stakeholders to analyze and act on the user research.

GEICO: Consumers & Staff

Over the past 9 years, we’ve led over 100 usability testing projects to support GEICO’s digital experience division. Work spanning many customer-facing products and internal systems. Many studies include a 1-day workshop that exposes diverse teams to their users and drives alignment.

“I thought the interview set-up, organization, and deliverables were all fantastic!”

Jeremy Abrahams

UX Design Lead, Herman Miller

Our Process for Usability Projects

While we customize each project, most of our usability projects follow this 5-step approach. Each step takes about 1 week.

Plan

We get up to speed and align on your project goals, audiences and KPIs.

Report

We deliver a summary report with all findings, solution ideas and recordings.

Workshop

We facilitate a 1-day remote workshop with research observation, analysis, and ideation.

Recruit

We conduct a rigorous recruiting and screening process to find representative users.

Research

We moderate 1:1 usability sessions, and sometimes supplement this with quantitative research.

“Great insights based on convincing user data. Loved the process and outcomes, despite the brutality of hearing some of the feedback.”

Ryan Thompson

Communications Manager, Rainforest Alliance

The Key Step: Analysis Workshops

Most usability consulting firms work in a black box: they disappear to conduct testing and analysis and return with a big report. This “expert report” approach fails to drive team alignment and action. What does work? Our “team sport” approach: watch users directly, then analyze and act on the data — all in a 1-day remote workshop.

1. Observe UX Testing

The morning: Watch full usability research sessions with your team. Capture findings like a user researcher.

2. Align on Problems

Early afternoon: Go through a series of collaborative steps to analyze findings and reach consensus on your top UX problems.

3. Generate Solutions

Late afternoon: Break into small groups to brainstorm, sketch, combine and critique ideas. Rank the most promising solutions.

“The most productive workshop I’ve ever attended. The facilitators, participation and action plan made this an extremely effective day.”

Engineer

National Fire Protection Association

Why “Team Sport” Beats an Expert Report

Seeing is believing

Watching users struggle has a huge motivating impact on designers, developers and stakeholders. But a few clips in a report doesn’t cut it. Watching full sessions throughout a morning does.

Alignment is really hard

Watching users and analyzing data together has a magical power: it builds a shared, objective understanding about the biggest problems worth solving. This saves you a ton down the road by reducing rework, delays and failed launches.

You are the experts

We see it over and over … your team’s solutions beat a UX consultant’s ideas. But only if you watch users in depth and go through a rigorous analysis and ideation process. That’s the biggest value we bring — not our solution ideas.

Data to deadlines in a day

We know how hard it is to turn research into changes that launch. That’s why our workshops don’t end until every top solution has a next step, an owner, and a deadline. Going from messy data to clear next steps in 1 day builds excitement and momentum.

“We fundamentally changed the site structure because of this day.”

Creative Director

Midtown Athletic Club

Helping Teams Across the U.S. & Beyond

A mostly-remote process in normal times

As a fully-remote, distributed team since day one, our firm has embraced remote user testing and a virtual project process for over 10 years. In normal times, we often visit our clients for just 1 day during a 5-week usability project — for the analysis workshop. This mostly-remote process has allowed our small consulting team to work with a wide range of U.S. and global organizations.  It also means we can recruit research participants from across the U.S. and beyond.

A 100%-remote process during the pandemic

Before the pandemic, we led about 50% of our usability workshops remotely. Especially for projects with distributed teams or quick turnarounds, remote workshops are a great option. During the pandemic, we’ve switched to 100% remote workshops and a fully-remote process. With the help of tools like Miro and various remote collaboration hacks, we’ve found more and more ways to facilitate super-productive virtual workshops.

Within the U.S., we have usability clients or team members in these cities:

Eastern U.S.

  • New York City
  • Washington DC
  • Philadelphia
  • Boston
  • Detroit
  • Atlanta
  • Miami
  • Orlando
  • Charlotte
  • Raleigh/Durham
  • Charlottesville

Central U.S.

  • Chicago
  • Minneapolis
  • Milwaukee
  • Austin
  • Dallas
  • Houston

Mountain U.S.

  • Denver
  • Boulder
  • Phoenix
  • Salt Lake City

Pacific U.S.

  • San Francisco
  • Los Angeles
  • San Jose
  • San Diego
  • Las Vegas
  • Portland
  • Seattle

“The facilitation was great. Awesome to think about problems this way.”

Aleksandra Golota

Marketing Specialist, UVA Health System