Conducting user testing sessions is the most crucial part of gathering genuine insights on your product. Depending on how you facilitate the session, it can either make or break your research.
The goal is to elicit honest, unbiased feedback from users, not just confirm your own assumptions. It's tempting to lead users towards validating your ideas, but this skews the findings. Frankly, “no feedback” is better than “biased feedback”.
Follow these steps and tips to get authentic feedback:
Briefly introduce yourself and the goal of the testing session. Explain you are looking for feedback into the product - emphasize there are no wrong answers. This sets users at ease to give honest opinions.
Ask the participant to sign a consent form, if necessary, to ensure their feedback can be used for research purposes.
We suggest recording your sessions. If you record, make sure you get consent from your tester.
Provide just enough instruction for users to interact with the product. But give ample time for the user to explore while you observe their natural reactions. Ask them to voice aloud what they are thinking, but don’t immediately rush to help them if they look confused.
If your product is a new cloud-based security dashboard, give the tester the scenario that they have just logged in and are trying to quickly investigate recent security events.
Present your prototype and have users complete realistic tasks. Ensure they see the necessary details to give informed feedback.
Using the same example as above, we might ask the tester to perform common tasks like finding a security event, researching it, and assigning it to the correct team member for remediation.
Closely observe behaviors, reactions and comments. Take detailed notes if you aren’t recording the session. But if you record your session like we do, we suggest light notetaking with timestamps. This allows you to stay more engaged while facilitating.
A timestamp not might look like: at 13:04, Struggled to find the “assign to team member” button.
During the testing, ask thoughtful questions to draw out experiences and pain points. Focus on the “why” behind actions. Avoid leading or biased wording.
Here are a few questions you could ask the user.
What’s going on here, and what would you do next?
I noticed a bit of hesitation there, what stopped you?
What do you think this button is going to do?
What’s most appealing about this product?
What’s the hardest part about using this product?
Access more questions in our free user testing cheatsheet
Thank the participant for their time and input. Remind them their input will improve the product for others. If they are receiving a gift card, let them know when and how they’ll receive it.
It all comes down to this
Great user feedback can rapidly enhance your product. With a plan and some practice, you can facilitate sessions that yield powerful feedback that replaces guessing with research.
Elevate your testing skills with our free User Testing Cheat Sheet
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