Usability testing at the Scottish Parliament

Every 3 weeks at the Scottish Parliament, we test our new website designs with the public (usability testing). We do this to gauge whether the new designs we’re producing for our Beta website are meeting the needs of our users.

The sessions are very informal and open to everyone to take part. We don’t want location to be a barrier, so they can be held either here in the Scottish Parliament building or remotely using screen share software – no complicated tech required.

Why do we usability test?

We run these sessions so we can:

  • identify any barriers to accessing information on the Scottish Parliament site in our new designs
  • find opportunities to improve
  • learn more about our target user’s behaviour and preferences.

What’s involved if I want to take part?


  • ask a couple of questions about your experience of the Scottish Parliament site
  • work through some tasks or scenarios our users typically perform. This is to test the performance of our new designs
  • use a laptop or sometimes a mobile device, depending on the study.

We always match our participants experience of the site with the relevant research study. There’s nothing to prepare in advance and no right or wrong answers – we’re just looking for honest feedback.

How long does it take?

Sessions last for up to 60 minutes. It’ll be just you and our User Researcher in the room.

How does usability testing help the Web Project team at the Scottish Parliament?

Your feedback will make a real difference to how the new Scottish Parliament site is designed.

Running these sessions helps our team:

  • get feedback directly from the people using our website
  • highlight issues and potential barriers so we can fix them before they appear on the site
  • focus on building a site for the real people who will use our service
  • let users reach their goals and access the information they need quickly and easily.

How can I get involved?

If you’d like to be involved, please contact for further details.