The SpoolCast with Jared Spool

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Episode #87 Effective Moderating for Usability Testing Followup

January 14, 2010  ·  38 minutes

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Back in October, we asked usability testing expert Beth Loring to present a UIE Virtual Seminar on how to Effectively Moderate Usability Tests. As is often the case, we got lots of great questions from the live audience, but just couldn’t get to them all. Adam and Beth got together to record this podcast and cover some of the remaining issues.

Show Notes

Conducting a usability test can be stressful, but you know how important this effort is. Effectively moderating a usability test is a critical part of your user research. It can put the design team on the path to success or failure in the next steps of a product's design. With a little guidance, and some practice, you can master this art of interacting with you users and get the results your organization needs.   Back in October, we asked usability testing expert Beth Loring to present a UIE Virtual Seminar on how to Effectively Moderate Usability Tests. In her presentation, she talks about how to interact with participants and finding that balance between helping them feel comfortable and being too friendly. Beth covers what to do when participants get stuck, or even fail a task. There’s quite a bit of good information that will help you moderate your next usability test. As is often the case, we got lots of great questions from the live audience, but just couldn’t get to them all. I got together with Beth to record this podcast and cover some of the remaining issues. If you find yourself wanting more afterward, don’t forget you can still purchase a recording of the session for another 90 minutes of Effectively Moderating Usability Tests.   During the podcast, I asked Beth to explore these questions, and more:

  • What is the recommended pathway for learning how to moderate usability tests?
  • How much subject matter expertise should a moderator have going into a usability test?
  • What's the impact of using a participant more than once?
  • How do you respond to a participant when they're looking for feedback on how they're doing in the test?
  • What's the reasonable maximum amount of time for a user test session?