Skip to content

Usability testing facilitation do's and don'ts

One of my favourite parts of my job is running usability testing sessions. Here’s are two little lists that I try and keep in mind for the main section: “the chat.”


  • Ask them to be honest and think out loud
  • Asked open-ended questions
  • Ask one question at a time
  • Ask why often
  • Encourage action (“Give it a try”)
  • Answer questions with a question
  • Use acknowledgement tokens (“OK”, “uh huh”, “mm hmm”, but not “OK!”)
  • Be glad when they get stuck
  • Thank them for their time


  • Sit across from them
  • Lean in and crowd them
  • Tell them this is a test of them
  • Complete their sentences
  • Use leading questions (“Does that make sense?” “Was that easy?”)
  • Tell them what they’re looking at
  • Assume you know what they mean – ask them instead
  • Ask them to speculate on their future behaviour
  • Ask them what they want