Join Chris Nodder for an in-depth discussion in this video Making a screener, part of UX Foundations: Usability Testing.
- Now you have to find out whether each person who answers your advert is qualified to take part. You do that by having a set of questions that you go through with each potential participant. We mentioned that each of the attributes that you've listed has to be measurable. However, you also don't want to make it clear from the questions you've asked what you want the answer to be. Let's go through some examples of good questions for some common attributes you might be recruiting for. Let's say you want someone who's moderately active online.
You might specify that as minutes they spend between 30 minutes to two hours online each day. So what's the best way of asking that question? Obviously, if we just said, "Do you spend between 30 minutes "and two hours online each day?", we'd be giving away the answer we want. Instead it's best to get your potential participant to pick from a range of numbers. So you might ask , "Which of the following best describes "how much time you spend online each day?" Less than 10 minutes, 10 to 30 minutes, 30 to 60 minutes, one to two hours, two to four hours or more than four hours.
Then you'd accept anyone who chose the third or fourth answer. To ask how active someone is at online shopping, you'd might ask about purchase frequency using a similar scale. Maybe less than once a month, once or twice a month, once or twice a week, or several times a week. Alternatively, you might care more about how much time someone spends browsing online stores rather than the number of purchases they make. Obviously, the questions you ask will depend upon the description you came up with of which user type you care most about.
Sometimes it will be too hard to ask a question directly so you need to find a proxy for it. For instance, what if you're looking for people who love to listen to music. You could ask, "Do you love to listen to music?" but that doesn't quantify the response. Someone could answer, "Yes." whether they just listen to the radio when they're driving or whether they download 20 new songs each week. Writing your questions out in a way that makes them answerable also helps you work out exactly what it is you care about.
By asking on a sliding scale or giving several options is not clear to the respondent what the right answer is. You don't even necessarily have to read out all the options. If it's an easy enough question to answer, you can just take the answer and see if it falls within your acceptable range. So for each attribute, you need to work out the question you'll ask, the range of options you'll provide to respondents and also, what range of answers you'll accept. If you're using an external company to do your recruiting, they will expect this type of list from you.
A good company will help you determine the list so that you ask the right questions and get the right people showing up for you study.
- What is usability testing?
- Finding the right participants
- Making a screener
- Asking the right questions
- Avoiding bias
- Making a task list
- Creating the test environment
- Running a pilot study
- Moderating sessions
- Capturing real-time observations
- Analyzing and reporting your results