Tasks

At a Glance

Completing tasks and answering questions are the activities contributors perform during the test so that you can get answers to your research questions.

 

Overview

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While completing these tasks, contributors will speak their thoughts out loud so you understand their thought process and the reasoning behind their actions. An example of a task is "Imagine you are thinking about buying a Bluetooth headset, use Google to do the research you normally would" or "After using this webpage, what are 3 words that describe how you feel about this company?". 

 

Can’t wait to get started?

We offer a variety of templates with editable tasks so that you can get started quickly. These are a great shortcut to help you write your first test. From the New dropdown menu, select Create a test from a template.

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Below is a quick overview of the different types of tasks available. If you would like more in-depth information on the various task types, please see the Tasks Overview article. Writing Great Tasks is also a useful article to help you strengthen your task writing skills.

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  • Assets. This feature allows you to include URLs or Images that contributors see during the test. Display an asset and follow it up with additional tasks and questions regarding that asset. 
  • Task. Sometimes referred to as a "blank task," this is an open field where you direct contributors to complete tasks. It is best to frame tasks as a goal you want the person to accomplish, such as "Spend 1 minute finding the ATM closest to Pike Place Market." 
  • Five Second Test. This feature shows contributors the Starting URL for 5 seconds, then asks predefined follow-up questions to recall their impressions and understanding of the page. It is only available for Website tests offered to the UserTesting Contributor Network and, when used, is always the first task presented.
  • Verbal Response. These questions prompt the contributors to provide a spoken answer which correlates with where a contributor is at in the test. This task type is great for asking interview questions, such as "Tell us about the last time you were looking for an airline ticket." This can then be followed with a URL asset pointing to your prototype and a task asking, "With your previous answer in mind, how would you find that same ticket using this site."
  • Multiple Choice. This question allows you to ask a question and have the contributor select from a set of answers you provide. You decide if you want to allow the contributor to select only one answer or if they can select multiple answers.
  • Rating Scale. This question allows you to ask a question and provide a scale with defined endpoints, such as "very difficult" to "very easy." You define the endpoints and can select from a number of different sizes for the scale. Be sure to use consistent sizes for your scales throughout the test (e.g. all 7-point scales). This question and multiple choice questions are great for collecting discrete numbers across your contributors (e.g., "8 of 10 contributors rated the task as very easy")
  • Written Response. This question prompts contributors to type their answer into a text box. This can make it easier to analyze their responses. Note that their verbal response is recorded at the same time, so a contributor may speak additional detail beyond what they type into the box.
  • Other Task Types. Note that you may see other task types based on the features available in your account. For example, you may see a Card sort task type if the card sorting feature is available to you.

 

Notes about tasks:

  • If you need some inspiration, select the link under Popular Tasks to review and use a task bank of common and popular questions.
  • There is no limit to the number of tasks that can be in a test; however, studies should take 15 to 20 minutes to complete. Think about how long you expect contributors to spend on each task and limit the number of tasks appropriately.
  • Tasks should not require a contributor to provide any sensitive Personally Identifiable Information (PII). See this article to learn more about PII. If you are a covered health entity and have signed a BAA with UserTesting, you may collect Protected Health Information (PHI); read our article about collecting insights under HIPAA to learn more.
  • Separate follow-up questions from the tasks themselves. Primarily, this ensures that contributors see and answer each of your questions. Secondarily, because each task and question is tagged in the recording, you can skip directly to the specific question and answer in the video. This makes it easier to review the results and create clips to share.

 

Next Quick Start Section: Launch a Study

 

Learn More

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