Schedule Time & Gather Materials
- Time Needed for Testing: 1 – 2 Days
- Number of Participants: 50 – 100
- Live product
- Pen and paper
- Compensation for participants (for example, low-value gift cards, $5 bills, etc.)
Carry Out This Method
- Recruit 50-100 participants in a public setting where people are likely to have experience with the product. Offer people a small compensation, like a gift card to pay for their coffee or a $5 bill. (If the product usage does not lend itself to Guerrilla Usability Testing, participants will need to be recruited from the known user base — members of the loyalty program, for example.)
- Ask users to describe a time when the product’s behavior did not match their expectations. Let your users know that either a positive or a negative surprise is helpful information.
- Record the task participants were performing, the critical event, and whether they were able to complete the task.
- Ask participants to rate the impact of the event. (Consider 1-5, Very Good, Good, Neutral, Bad, Very Bad)
- Analyze the spreadsheet for commonalities and prioritize based on several criteria: ease of change, impact on usability, impact on conversion. (This will require the creation of a presentation document with visuals.)
- Report findings to stakeholders for a decision.
Try These Tips
- Consider performing this method with other usability methods.
- Don’t accept critical event stories at face value. The root cause of the pain points may require additional research.
Explore More Resources
- Designing the User Experience at Autodesk: The Critical Incident Technique (CIT)