These may sound obvious, but I’ve recently found these are not obvious.
1) Usability Testing Needs Serious Planning
For what are you testing? If people will understand that flow? Make it through the process? Understand choices? Like a design? Understand messaging? There are so many things you could be testing. You should start with those intentions and build a plan around that.
2) Include Your UX Person In The Planning And Testing
It’ll cost you more to include your UX person or team. They’re going to bill you for the time. And it’ll be worth it.
You may not know much about usability testing. Most clients don’t. The testing company usually assumes you’ve already decided what you’re testing and maybe even how you want to test that. The testing company makes it happen and reports back.
The UX person can help devise this plan and make sure the right prototype, wireframes, or other deliverable is ready and working for how the test will be run.
If You’re Testing UX, Include Your UX People
I seems obvious, but please do it! Sure, you can save money by cutting those people or that person out of the budget for the testing planning and process. But if in the end you end up with a test that didn’t check the right thing or results you can’t really make sense of, will the money you saved have been worth it?