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
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.
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!”
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.
We get up to speed and align on your project goals, audiences and KPIs.
We deliver a summary report with all findings, solution ideas and recordings.
We facilitate a 1-day remote workshop with research observation, analysis, and ideation.
We conduct a rigorous recruiting and screening process to find representative users.
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.”
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.”
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.”
Our small-scale usability projects (1 round of moderated testing with 1 primary audience) typically cost between $20,000 and $30,000 USD. This cost includes participant recruitment and a 1-day remote workshop.
Key pricing variables include recruiting difficulty, research complexity, number of methods, and number of sessions.
A 2nd round of testing — where we test the design changes you make after the 1st round — typically costs about 60% of the 1st round’s cost.
“Working with Marketade has been an amazing experience. I highly recommended them to anyone!”
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:
- New York City
- Washington DC
- Salt Lake City
- San Francisco
- Los Angeles
- San Jose
- San Diego
- Las Vegas
“The facilitation was great. Awesome to think about problems this way.”