User testing for style and content 


The first step to writing well is understanding your users and how they read 

Susan Bell Research offers a unique user testing method for written content based on the psychology of language, and inspired by the Jobs to be Done philosophy.

I am a professional researcher, linguist and written communications testing specialist.  I designed our User Testing for Style and Content to show organisations how customers experience their content, from three perspectives:

  1. Customer experience. How do you users feel after reading your content?  Were they engaged? Empowered? Did they feel empathy, or were they left feeling cold, with no idea what to do next?
  2. Compliance.  What did your users read and what they understand? And really importantly what did they misunderstand or guess?
  3. Consistent brand voice.  Does yur written content speak in your the same 'voice of your brand' as your other communications?  


We specialise in user testing of information about products such as investment and processes such as applying for insurance that are difficult to explain without resorting to jargon. Our service also helps organisations write about complex ideas - like How to Write a Will.


When is the right time to test?

When is the right time to test?

This testing is suitable at the Discovery stage to help you understand and empathise with your users and understand the particular environmental or other contextual factors that will affect how they will read your content

It is suitable at the Evaluative stage, to test whether you have met users' needs.


Our testing includes:


  • Sample design

  • One on one think-aloud interviews with your target market conducted by an experienced professional researcher

  • Interview guide crafted specifically for the information resource we are testing

  • Recruitment of participants including people with low literacy skills or with disabilities.

  • Analysis and reporting with recommendations

  • Confidentiality guaranteed by the Research Society Code of Professional Behaviour.


Our usability testing helps your customers use your digital resources

We live in a world that relies increasingly on digital information, where users typically access that information on their own. Writers often write the copy isolated from the people most likely to read it. As a result, they often have to rely on their own intuitions about users will understand or already know. In turn, many of our clients over-estimate the ability of their customers to understand the language and terminology that is specific to their department or agency.

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User testing methods

User tests use discovery or evaluation methods

  • We specialise in Discovery. Our primary method is the think-aloud one on one interview. This form of testing takes 30 to 45 minutes on average. Sample sizes vary but are typically between 10 and 30  people in total. We test with your designated target market.

  • We also do evalautive or quantitative user testing with large samples. The quantitative tests are descriptive, compared with discovery testing which is more diagnostic

Some tips

  • Testing should always be conducted as an individual interview and never in group discussions.
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For a quote or a confidential discussion about your research needs