Get the most out of every type of participant

When you conduct usability tests, the most important thing is: the respondent! When you do regular interviews, you have probably noticed that you talk easier with some respondents than with others. We have put together the most common types of respondents for you, with a number of tips. So you will get the best out of each respondent.

1. The Chatterbox

Most chatterboxes do not realize they are one. They often like to take part in tests and are very enthusiastic. They also like to talk, a lot. It can be difficult to interrupt a chatterbox, or to get them back on the right test path.

What helps is interrupt them in a friendly way, thank them for their explanation and make it clear that you’ll move on with the next topic. You can also point out that the time you have is limited and that you want to know more, so you have to go to the next task or question.

2. The Scatterbrain

Some respondents are very confusing in their answers. For example, they do not finish their sentences, or jump from the heel to the branch. This may make it difficult for you to follow their thinking. It can also be difficult for the observer to really draw a conclusion.

What helps to do this is to listen carefully and check regularly if you have understood them. You can also repeat what the respondent said in the same words. So you do not fill in what you think what they mean, and they often give more explanation. Finally, you can feel free to ask what they thought about, or what they were looking for.

3. The Silent

The Silent is a type of person who is short of material and often answers as short as possible. They often only answer with ‘yes’ or ‘no’ and are not very talkative.

What will help is make it clear that you are not the one who designed the application, so they can not insult you. Furthermore, the trick is to ask what they think of and continue to ask questions during all their steps. When a respondent answers ‘well’ or ‘good’, ask them why!

4. The Shy Type

Some respondents find it thrilling to take part in a test. They are shy and / or nervous. In the pre-test, make sure that the research is not about them and reassure them. They can’t do anything wrong and if something doesn’t work, it’s not their fault.

When a respondent gets stuck, indicate that it is clear that the particular part needs to be improved and move on to the next task. Also don’t forget that it is always possible to take short breaks.

5. The Optimist

Finally, there is a type of respondent that says everything is great. The optimist often loves your idea and does not mention negative points.

Sometimes you see that certain tasks are more difficult to use or that it does not work out. Appoint what you see. For example, say “interesting that you are so positive, because it seemed that using the website was sometimes a bit tricky for you.”

Happy Testing

Would you like to know more about how best to conduct an interview with users? Or can you use some help in recruiting the right respondents? Please contact us!