How to successfully FAIL at UserTesting

Do not try this at home!

Demographic info matters

Go ahead, recruit your participants based on demographic screener that focuses on aspects such as gender, age, education, nationality or whatever!

Because it matters if the people you observe are men or women, young or old, tall or short. Because we don’t care about simple yet so complicated human behavior and we deliberately want to compromise on the kinds of domain knowledge we need to collect.

The golden question! Ask participants why they behave in a particular way

On a good UserTesting day, you begin your test with “have a look around the home page and tell me what you think”. This is called Free browse (asking participant to spend some time looking around the site). This is so important when it comes to wasting your first real life scenario. Real life scenarios are what we do NOT care about. This is not about trying to simulate reality.

Also, you must NOT ask yourself;

  • Can people complete the task?
  • How long do they take?
  • How many errors do they make on the way?
by Anna-Gret Higgins

During usability test, do NOT explore the 6 categories in usability test: (by David Travis David Travis) I’ll talk about my favorite picks.

Scavenger hunt

Simple way to find out if the user can make your system work. You ask users to do something that has one clear answer.

The Reverse Scavenger hunt

You show people the answer — for example a picture of what they need to look for — and then ask them to go about finding or purchasing it.

Self-generated tasks

You ask participants what they think they could do with your site and make up real scenario as you go along. Just go with the flow.

Stay Away

Stay away from research discipline, especially the ones that concern about cognitive science, anthropology, sociology and psychology. The discipline that takes a scientific approach to studying human behavior (Experimental Psychology) should have no meaning in this matter.

Do not care about beautifully done Usability Demo on youtube “Rocket Surgery Made Easy by Steve Krug” and do spend lots of money when you know How to Run a Cheap, Fast, & Incredibly Useful User Test.

Avoid any options like remote user testing suggested by Tomer Sharon @tsharon (Sr. UX Researcher, Google) and Steve Krug @skrug (Author of Usability Consultant).

Please despite all the online tools & resources available to you;

User experience recordings made simple. Lookback allows you to remotely record the screen, face, voice and touches of your users.

Jonatan, co-founder of Lookback, shows you how to record user experiences, bugs and feedback on your Mac, using Lookback for Mac
Desing Sprint The Five-Act Interview