The Moderator's Survival Guide is your indispensable resource for navigating the rocky shoals of your one-on-one user research sessions. Inside, you'll find guidance for nearly 100 diverse situations (ranging from business-as-usual to tricky and sticky) that might occur during usability studies, contextual inquiries, or user interviews.
As a moderator, you are responsible for the well-being of the participant, your study, and your organization. You must be prepared for anything that may happen, from your technology failing to the participant quailing. Use this guide to identify your best next steps, react appropriately, and survive any challenges that comes your way.
Donna Tedesco is a Senior User Experience Specialist with over ten years of user research experience. She has published and presented at local, national and international conferences, and is co-author with Bill Albert and Tom Tullis of the book, "Beyond the Usability Lab: Conducting Large-Scale Online User Experience Studies." Donna received a BS in Engineering Psychology/Human Factors from Tufts University School of Engineering and a MS in Human Factors in Information Design from Bentley University. Fiona Tranquada is a Senior Usability Consultant with over ten years of user research experience. She has published and presented at local and national conferences and is an active Board member for the Boston chapter of the User Experience Professionals Association (UXPA). Fiona received a BA in Professional Writing and Creative Writing from Carnegie Mellon and an MS in Human Factors in Information Design from Bentley University.
Part 1: Your Moderation Toolkit Chapter 1. Moderation Matters: Power, Responsibility, and Style Chapter 2. In the Trenches: Six Steps for Handling Situations Chapter 3. Mix and Match: Your Moderation Patterns Toolbox Part 2: Your Survival Guide Chapter 4. Recruiting Mishaps: Participants You Weren't Expecting Chapter 5. Participant Misconceptions: Not What the Participant was Expecting. Chapter 6. Some Guidance Required: Participants in Need of Shepherding. Chapter 7. Make it Work: Handling Technical Obstacles Chapter 8. Is This Right? Responding to Uncertain Participants. Chapter 9. What's Going On? Recovering from External Interruptions. Chapter 10. Get on Track: Overcoming Momentum Blockers. Chapter 11. Take the Wheel: Guiding Wayward Participants. Chapter 12. A Delicate Touch: Addressing Sensitive Situations Chapter 13. Uncomfortable Interactions: Responding to Awkward Situations Chapter 14. Safety First: Minimizing Emotional and Physical Distress Part 3: Improving Your Skills Chapter 15. An Ounce of Prevention: Avoiding and Mitigating Situations Chapter 16. Sharpening Steel: How to Improve Your Skills and Help Others Improve Theirs Appendix A. What to Say Appendix B. Preparing for a Successful Session Appendix C. Resources