Best practise User Testing



Keen to understand from everyone how they tackle this.

We often run participant user testing sessions with clients/stakeholders watching live in another room. As well as that, we record the session. At the beginning, we ask the participants for permission to record the session, but we don’t mention that they are being observed live.

I feel a bit dishonest not telling them, but I’m not sure what’s the best way to mention this to the participants without scaring them. Does anyone have any examples of ways they have tackled this, and best practices?


You don’t need to tell them at all. 100% chance is that you will not get proper result which you want and why do you even feel a bit dishonest about it?


hi @sandra

you wrote that you’re running the usability test with the stakeholders.
If I got it right we’re talking of people that are working with you on delivering the product.
I believe that in this scenario there’s no impact in the user performances during the test session if she/he knows being observed by you.
They should be in their own “comfort zone” because they are familiar with the ambient (the room where you run the UT), they know most of the people involved in the UT and they are part of the production process.

Is this the case?


I’ve observed a few usability testing sessions from behind a mirror wall, and I don’t recall any time where the interviewer mentioned that someone was watching from the other side. They did of course mention that the session being recorded, so i assume that if someone is happy to be recorded, they would be happy to be observed?

Not sure of the legalities of it all, but I’d imagine that if the participants knew that more (unknown, invisible, scary!) people were watching them from behind the wall, then this would add more unnecessary pressure on them. We want them to be relaxed.


Don’t ask leading questions.