Table of Contents
1. Preparing the test location and infrastructure
2. Order and instruct test users
3. D-Day: Leave doors open
4. Greeting of the test users
5. Communicate rules of conduct and hygiene
6. Have the test users take the protective measures
7. Keep a safe distance even in the waiting room
8. Ready, set, test
9. Security tips for user tests
10. Saying goodbye to test users
11. Clean the test location at the end
12. Alternative locations in case tests are not allowed at your office
Public life in Switzerland is gradually being brought back up to speed. Hairdressers and DIY stores were the first to be allowed to reopen their doors. On 11 May, restaurants were allowed to open and all shops served customers once again. However, certain regulations apply to ensure the safety of each individual. There is also a growing demand for on-site user testing at the customer’s premises. Why? Remote studies have their advantages, but so does on-site testing. For example, the use of test objects or closer observation of body language. Here you can find out more about in-house usability tests.
Let’s get back to the safety rules: These are to be considered just as much in user research at the office or in usability labs. What does that mean for you? Like INNOArchitects, you must prepare your test location accordingly before your first test users can arrive. Clean and disinfect the premises and equipment (keyboard, mouse, touch screens, etc.) that will be used. Equip the room with the necessary products such as protective masks and disinfectants. In addition, it helps to clearly label the rooms required during the test so that the test users do not get lost in other rooms.
After you have made the test location Corona-compliant, it is very important to instruct the test users accordingly. We will support you in doing so if you order test users with us. Not only while ordering, but also when screening suitable candidates. Even before the lockdown, we made sure that no candidates who have recently traveled to affected areas were assigned for user tests or workshops at the customer’s test location. We proactively inform our test users about necessary security measures and rules of conduct so that they can participate in the test with a good feeling. You can add further personal instructions to the test users by clicking on “Message to test users” and the field “Instructions” in our order form.
If at all possible, leave the doors to the room where you are conducting the user test open. This way you and the test users avoid any contact with door handles and reduce the risk of an infection. Furthermore, open doors are inviting and help the test users to move swiftly into the right room. If required, we will gladly provide you with our door hangers so that the users recruited by us can find their way around more easily as they are familiar with our brand.
Fixed rituals, well-known and familiar things are very important for most people. We often feel that everything that is unfamiliar is wrong. And normally people shake hands when greeting each other in Europe. But not so in times of a pandemic. However, to get rid of the feeling of being impolite when greeting without a “handshake”, there are enough funny greeting alternatives for you on the internet. Some of them also serve very well to loosen up this exceptional situation (like these examples). INNOArchitects solves this with a majestic greeting: Waving like the Queen.
With the instructions before the user test many uncertainties can be eliminated. Nevertheless, it is important to repeat them on the day itself and, above all, to pay attention to the rules of conduct. It is best to place the rules prominently in the location where the test will be carried out. But what are the most important rules to follow? Here you have a short overview for your test:
Keep your distance.
Wash your hands thoroughly.
Avoid shaking hands.
Cough and sneeze into a paper tissue or
the crook of your arm.
Stay at home if you experience symptoms.
Recommendation: Wear a mask.
The rules recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) can be viewed here at any time.
The next step is very simple. The test users have received all the necessary information. At INNOArchitects, the study organisers and all test users will enter their names in a list at the reception to prove who was present in their open workspace on that day. In addition, the test users have to sign a non-disclosure agreement on site as usual. You receive the proof of which test users were present on site also in our lineup. Afterwards let the test users disinfect their hands and put on the protective mask.
It may happen that some test users arrive earlier than others. It is very important that they are able to maintain the safe distance in the waiting room. Therefore, provide them with a sufficiently large room for the waiting time. Label the room accordingly, mark the safety distance and also equip it with the necessary products such as disinfectant.
After all your test users have arrived, been instructed accordingly and have taken the protective measures, you can start. Always keep a safe distance when testing. Make sure that all users present do so too.
In this example of INNOArchitects a panel discussion was organised. Nevertheless, we would like to give you a few tips for user tests, as this scenario is slightly different in terms of the execution. As a moderator, you can no longer look directly over the shoulders of the test user. This does not mean that you cannot sit in the same room. Just keep a safe distance (see also 5. Communicate rules of conduct and hygiene). You can also use e.g. video conference call or Lookback observer mode for you as a moderator. However, the moderation can take place directly in the room.
The same rules apply when saying goodbye to the test users as when welcoming them. Please provide the test users with another disinfection station and a waste bin with lids for the correct disposal of waste (such as the disposable face masks) in front of the exit.
Finally, only one important step remains. After all test users and all employees who are no longer needed have left the room, you have to clean and disinfect the premises again. Clean and disinfect all door handles, used surfaces and equipment (e.g. such as a mouse) to ensure the safety of the people who will use the rooms afterwards.
For some companies it is still not possible to conduct user tests or workshops on their own premises. In some cases, work is still done from home. Or it is simply not possible to receive external people. However, we have some alternatives for you. In Switzerland, there is the workspace provider www.workspace2go.ch, where you can book rooms throughout Switzerland. They strictly follow the instructions of the Swiss government and can therefore offer a secure environment. Or you can check this link for other countries in Europe.
INNOArchitects accelerates innovation and transformation in the digital age – and supports its partners with the latest innovation methods. The end customer’s needs are always at the centre of attention. Together with INNOArchitects, TestingTime has already surveyed over 1000 recruited test users. The innovation and training offer of INNOArchitects can be found here.