Join Chris Nodder for an in-depth discussion in this video Writing postsession questions, part of UX Foundations: Usability Testing.
- After a usability session you are likely to have a couple of questions for the participant. Some of your questions may be to do with what the participant said or did during the session. Others may be about how the participant does this task in their daily life. You may also want to ask questions about the participant's satisfaction with the task they performed . These are all things that you obviously can't create tasks for. Instead, the questions are more interview style. However, it's important that your questions stay behavioral.
In other words remember to only ask about things the participant has already done not about things they may do in the future. There really isn't any point in asking questions that talk about future states or maybes. You'll get answers but they aren't necessarily believable. If you want to know more about what a participant was saying or doing while they went through a task. It's best to take them back through that task, either in their heads or using the computer. When you get to the part you are interested in ask them what they remember about that part of the task.
The less prompting you give them the more likely it is that the words they use will be their own. Rather than something you guided them into saying. You may instead be interested in how this task compares to what they do in their normal lives. It's fine to ask questions that get people talking about their regular approach to a task. Often they'll draw comparisons without you even needing to ask them. If you do need to ask. Be sure to use neutral terms. Don't say "Did you prefer the task today to your normal approach?" Instead ask "How does the task today compare to your normal approach?" This is much less leading and allows the participant to tell you what they really think.
Rather than what they think you want to hear. If you want to gather satisfaction metrics it's best to ask for satisfaction at the end of the relevant task. Normally, we ask people to give us a rating on a scale. Using words like "Can you rate your experience on a five-point scale, where 1 is very dissatisfied and 5 is very satisfied?" It's important to follow up with a question like "Can you tell me why you gave the task that rating?" So that you get at the reason behind their satisfaction or dissatisfaction. It's funny how many times the reasons behind peoples ratings have nothing to do with the features you just implemented.
It's important to know this. So that you don't continue building things you think people love only to find out it's because of something silly like the shape of the logo on your home screen. Post session interviews are not a good time to start trying to teach things to participants. Or to try to convince them to change their opinion or attitudes towards your product. Even if they just told you they hate your product. At this point the best thing you can do is to ask them why. Rather than trying to sell them on its virtues.
- 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