6 Things to Consider for Your User Research within Covid-19

Aldrich Huang
4 min readMar 13, 2020

The coronavirus influences most of the industries especially travel, aviation and cruise. The OECD expressed a downgrade in the 2020 growth forecasts for almost every economy thus the global economy is expected to decrease from 2.9% to 2.4% in 2020.

Besides the forecast number, the “remote” online services and solutions become the new star that people seek. E-commerce and food delivery are still popular, as people choose online services to reduce and avoid face to face situations to protect themselves. Some countries shut down schools or postpone new semesters. In order to reduce the impact on education, online meeting/education solutions and online courses shift into the new golden industry.

More and more corporations provide “online” services to their customers and users to reduce the risk of infections. Currently, “Online Experience (OE)” becomes a more discussed topic over the offline experiences.

Recently, I interviewed 30+ Taiwanese doctor and I would like to share the best methods to conduct the safest and cleanest user research and user interview that will grab the market and will still reduce the impact of covid-19.

1. Remote is priority

If unnecessary, I personally recommend you conduct remote testing than inviting the testers to the lab and office and remind testers to conduct the test in an environment with good ventilation.

2. Disinfect the environment and the testing devices

Please make sure you disinfect the working environment, stuff you used every single day such as pen, PC, phone and the testing devices before and after testing and research. In further, don’t share the stuff you may use for user research such as pen, post-it notes, whiteboards to reduce the virus spread.

3. Do the Pre-survey or pre-interview the testers

Via pre-survey or pre-interview, we must be responsible to understand the tester’s traveling record from the previous 14 days and how their lives have changed. Since when we conduct user research, the persona should represent the group and not a specific individual.

4. Encourage taking private vehicles instead of public transportation

Running focus groups or face to face interviews may not be good options for now. If you don’t have any remote testing plan yet, and you are planning to invite testers to the lab and office, please encourage testers to take private vehicles over public transportation in order to reduce risk.

5. Wearing Mask and keep at least 2-meters distance

No matter moderated or unmoderated testing, it is better to wear the mask in the enclosed environment and keep at least 2-meters distance. Since the virus can easily spread.

6. Calm down the tester’s emotion

With my current experience, I noticed that some testers are worried about Covid-19. As a result, many testers are not willing to come to the testing lab. Before any testing, please make sure the tester’s emotion is stable and get an understanding of their current situation via small talk. In the emergent period, people’s behaviors are likely to be affected and can change their emotions.

I hope the coronavirus will be soon over, and if you don’t have any remote testing plan or alternatives, please feel free to contact me or UXTesting team. We are ready to help you.

Stay Healthy and Wash Your Hand.

#SafeUserResearch #RiskManagement #RemoteTesting #UXTesting #UXTestingIO #HealthPriority #WashHandEveryDay #WearMask #CoronaVirus #Covid19


6 charts show the coronavirus impact on the global economy and markets so far (https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/12/coronavirus-impact-on-global-economy-financial-markets-in-6-charts.html)