A great usability test facilitator does more than just show up on the day of the test, they spend some time making sure they understand the product, objectives of the business and concerns from the project team. A great facilitator participates in the test planning process so they understand and help define the learning objectives for the test session.
CHOOSE THE BEST TEST METHOD
There are many test methods to choose from, but I really like, especially for low-fidelity or limited functionality prototypes is the interview guided task protocol. In this method, a task list is prepared in advance with usability objectives defined for each task. But the session starts with a conversation with the participant to understand how they currently use the product and in which situations. Then we have them do the pre-prepared tasks they identified that they perform during the interview, plus any other tasks the participant identified that we, the project team had not identified during the planning phase. BONUS - more user and task analysis input at a usability testing session.
I have observed and coached many great facilitators. Some of these tips may seem so basic, but you wouldn't believe how often I need to remind myself of these during the course of a test day, especially on the last day.......
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