Example: Guerilla usability testing


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Usability testing at  a cafe

Boris Masis, Google Developer Relations Program Manager gave a ”show and tell” about “Guerilla Testing with Usability Cafe,”  an example that shows that user testing does not have to be a time consuming activity. And you will save time in you project by performing usability testing, and as I said in my last post, the earlier you do the usability test, the better (click here to read the whole post).

He mention in the clip below that it’s important to offer the test persons a small treat.

An interesting take away from this video is that you can find up to 85 percent of usability problems by observing five  people who use an app. It might not work the same way with a more complicated systems.  What do you think? If it is a system that performs a lot of different tasks, I think it could take more than five people to test it and more time, but when it comes to an app, I think this is fun to watch and that its a good point.
Enjoy some usability testing out in the wild 🙂


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6 Replies to “Example: Guerilla usability testing”

  1. Hey,

    I’m so happy I stumbled across your site, as I’m in the process of building my first app. This is a cool technique and strategy for testing the usability of my app before launch!

    I was stressing and worried that I would have to get 100’s of people to test my app for me, the magic number 5 has eased a lot of stress!

    May I ask, what other testing do you do on your apps besides usability test?


    Emrah Yalpur

    1. Hi and thanks a lot for your comment! I think it is important to do some sketches first on paper or so and just test the functionality. Sort of: if I click here, where should I end up? Does the navigation work as intended? You can do this on your own, just sketch all pages with squares and buttons to check if it works. You can also use some prototype tool (like invision app) Its easy to learn and you can make the navigation work so you can test it. That should help you get on the way and help you plan so you don’t have to start over after you begin to code.

  2. I never thought about usability as a “thing” and realized (especially in the online marketplace) that usability is key. People generally don’t want to have to work at figuring out things that they are choosing to use, it’s not like work or school where the task is assigned. This is a very interesting article.

    1. No it should be simple and intuitive. The systems/websites and apps that are built are built for the users, not for the developers. It will save a lot of time and take away frustration.

  3. hmmm this Guerilla usability testing sounds great to make sure an app is doing exactly what it should, that its user friendly, and just generally how to make improvements to an app.

    Do you know of any other methods that are even better then this Guerilla usability testing method?

    Thanks for sharing this supportive work!

    1. Hi and thank you:) There are other methods. If there is a lot of people using a web site for example, you can give out a survey and ask the visitors on the site to answer it. You can also “arrange” a test where people gets tasks to perform (find product and put it in you basket, make payment and so on). While they perform the tasks you observe what the do on the screen, just observe and take notes.

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