UX Researcher’s checklist – what to check so your research session goes smoothly

Organizing UX research sessions may, at first glance, seem to be quite a straightforward affair. Yet if we want to do it really well, weighing up all possible risks, then the whole thing gets rather more complicated. This applies particularly to research organized as a service for an external client. In this case, we are chiefly responsible for the elimination of risks.

At Artegence/Efigence, we have a UX research checklist. It helps us to prepare and verify whether we are ready to go with our research sessions.

So, what are the things you should remember the day before your test?

To prepare:

  • Check the respondents in the database! – if you have a list of participants ready (maybe delivered by an external recruitment agency, perhaps by asking friends of your friends to come along), check if these people hadn’t taken part in a test in your company before. It can affect the test results. Additionally, the more a person participates in UX tests, the more they become a professional test participant – so their reactions may be a little less natural than you would like them to be.
  • Deliver the schedule/ list of respondents to the front desk – there should be a person who will welcome the participants, get all the paperwork done and bring people to the lab. This way, you will be able to focus on the most important tasks.
  • Check the prototype – for one final time, check if the prototype works smoothly. You don’t want any surprises when you reach the studio right before sessions the next day.
  • Materials for research (e.g. reaction cards, SUS surveys) – if you haven’t done it while preparing the script, make sure that you have prepared any additional test tool you want to use during the session (e.g. reaction cards)
  • A thank-you gift for participants – it is usually nice to reward your participants somehow. For example, with a gift voucher.

Read also: Does the design system era mean the death of creativity in UI design?

To print:

  • NDA for the focus studio – if you organize your research in an external, rented studio, make sure you have a decent NDA agreement for them to sign. It might not matter to you, but it may be really essential for your client.
  • Consent for research – make sure that every participant who enters your lab has signed a Consent for research form. This document should inform the participant that he/she will be recorded (audio, video) and he/she should agree to that by signing the document. Note: This document has to be signed BEFORE the session and we recommend that the person welcoming the participant is responsible for the signing.
  • NDA for participants (confidentiality obligation) – another document for the participant to sign is an NDA agreement. This should be essential for everyone who doesn’t want the next billion-dollar idea tested during the session to be on the internet minutes after the participant leaves the studio.
  • Printed script for the client and moderator – it almost goes without saying that you should make sure that you and the person who is observing the session has the latest version of the script.

To check:

  • Research laptop – check if your prototype and the recording software works well
  • Computer for observers – check if the view on the observer’s computer is of high quality.
  • Mobile – if you’re doing mobile tests, then check how the prototype or tested site is viewed on your mobile device. Make sure that you charge the device overnight.
  • Cameras – check if the cameras are well connected with the recording software.
  • Microphones – check if sound records. If you need batteries – make sure there are plenty for back-up during the test.

We are happy to share this expertise with you so that you can prepare your user interviews in a more efficient way. You can download a ready-to-print version of our Checklist. Good luck with your research sessions!

Read also: PPI: The final unknown parameter of a device’s screen quality

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