Talking with Participants During a Usability Test

January 27, 2014

3 safe and productive approaches for interrupting or answering users during usability tests and other research studies:

  • Echo – With the echo technique, the facilitator repeats the last phrase or word the user said, while using a slight interrogatory tone.
  • Boomerang – With the boomerang technique, the facilitator formulates a generic, nonthreatening question that she can use to push the user’s question or comment back to him.
  • Colombo – With the Columbo technique, be smart but don’t act that way. (…) One way to do this is to ask just part of a question, and trail off, rather than asking a thorough question.

Kara Pernice: Talking with Participants During a Usability Test

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