Day#194: Is User Testing is broken???

Day#194: Is User Testing is broken???

Hey guys so recently I read an article on Medium, where the author basically spoke about how he indicates that you want to put your users under extreme pressure when they undergo usability tests.

I found the statement quite profound because a lot of the beautifully constructed usability Labs that have one-way glass and all the other amazing features you see in usability labs have always felt somewhat clinical to me. In truth I’ve always been two minded about the the outcomes and results from those types of tests because I think in reality when users come into a setting like, that it looks and feels almost slightly intimidating and even though as researchers we know not to make the participants feel like they’re being tested I think just having that one-way glass can make participants feel under pressure to perform etc. The other side is that for example when you’re in that usability lab it’s calm, there’s no distractions and participants  have time on their side, perhaps if you as their researcher have given a constraint then you do have a time deadline to work against, but a lot of the time it’s not the actual constraints the people they dealing with will face in their daily lives.

No in the medium article that I read, the author basically said that you need to tire out your participants and give them a lot of strenuous or irritating activities before the actual usability test commences, so that they are already a bit on edge before starting, and I actually think that it’s a very unique idea but I think it’s also probably difficult and possibly costly as well because I suppose it depends how you run your usability tests. If you get people who are influenced because of paid incentives or time sensitive participants this form of irritating the participant prior to the exercise may perhaps backfire. I think a middle ground that can be reached is when you as the researcher connect to the participant on a deeper level understanding what matters to them and what their life is about.

From a personal perspective I would feel a bit intimidated if I had to go into some of those usually Labs that I see online, and I really like the idea of going into the environment where the participant would use your product, it is a really great idea to consider for usability testing. I have heard of people having very informative discoveries from the practicality of features and constraints from going into the users natural habitat so to speak. Happy researching until next time

Bye for now

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