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User Testing 101: So You Want To Be A Good Observational Note Taker?

By Amanda Gelb

Introduction

A few notes and tips on being a helpful productive member of the user test research crew.

Amanda Gelb — UX Research Lead. Bachelor of Commerce undergrad degree and Masters in Interactive Telecommunications. Loving the ...

Added by Amanda Gelb : “These may seem obvious but you'd be surprised how often they are broken! Read through these Must Dos for being a well-behaved observer.

2 How To Behave

Added by Amanda Gelb : “Observations, objective notes. This keeps coming up but what the heck does it actually mean?! This brief article will help you understand and begin to note them. Observations = the unbiased obvious things that are going on in the user test session- patterns, whats working and what's not. Pro Tip: You're not looking for a design solution right now, you're merely noting objective notes + any insights that may arise in the moment.

3 Improve Your Powers of Observation by Taking Field Notes Like a Scientist

Everyone knows you're supposed to stop and smell the roses every now and again, but if you really want to improve your observational powers it might be a good idea to sketch that rose out as well. In fact, Time Magazine recommends taking field notes throughout the day to better track your day. Most people are casual observers at work

Added by Amanda Gelb : “During your sessions take objective notes + any insights that may arise in the moment. For exciting moments when your product worked and didn't work, jot down the name of the user and the time you make that observation. Objective notes will be used to connect design decisions back to these observed user behaviors. Example: Simon didn’t know which button to push on the landing screen (approx. 12:01pm); Playlist concept Y was confusing to Susan (12:03pm) Bookmark this source sheet by the grand User Research master himself, Steven Krug, and use it's 2nd page to note your top 3 observations in the upcoming test video.

5 Now You Try....Quick Tips Once You're in the Session

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