Navigation menus: usability study plan


To learn more broadly about how people use navigation menus, and about their mental models related to navigation for a website. 
To validate whether the proposed solution is on the right track. 
While there are lots of different use cases for a menu block (adding a menu block to a footer or a page would be a different experience), the research team will be testing for the primary use case—a user who wants to build a primary navigation for their site. 


Since the team has a number of broad questions to answer and is evaluating a rough prototype, they’ll conduct moderated usability tests.

The script will comprise of a short exploratory interview, followed by a task-based evaluation of the prototype. This allows the team to ask exploratory questions when the participant expresses moments of delight, confusion, or pause and to uncover more qualititative insights. It also allows the team to better test prototypes, which necessarily have limited functionality. Once a prototype is coded the team can investigate more large-scale unmoderated testing.


For this study, the team is looking for a mix of:
  • users who have a self-described low level of technical aptitude (80%)
  • power users: people who have used WordPress for more then five years (20%)

The aim will be to represent as much diversity as possible in terms of demographics and ability, but this will be limited by the reach of recruitment and the limited pool of participants. 

Participants will be recruited via a screener shared to social media. To reduce bias and make recruiting more effective, all participants will be given a $50 Amazon gift card upon completion of their session.

Script & supporting materials

Data and Analysis

Video of sessions will be recorded using Zoom. 

In order to keep time investment minimal, a debrief session will be held in Slack immediately after each session to record takeaways, which the session’s note-taker will be responsible for compiling into a shared document. This will allow for easier pattern identification and analysis. 

An analysis session will be held in Slack on the last day of the interview week to collect any additional insights and findings, as well as to determine a path for iteration of the prototype.

Consent & privacy

A researcher will send an email to the participants explaining the purpose of the study before the interviews. All participants will be asked to sign a +Participant consent agreement.

Researchers will also be asked to sign a +WordPress Research Consent ensuring respect for participants’ privacy. Researcher communication will happen in a private Slack channel in order to safeguard participant privacy. 


Interviews will be open to all members of the WordPress community interested in observing or participating. A call for researchers will be posted to make/design 5 March. 

Researchers will also write a brief summary report (shared to make/design as a single post) documenting the research process and the results.