Guerilla Testing

Lean, agile and low-cost method of quickly capturing user feedback
Contributed by

Darpan Sunwar

Published March 23, 2021
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What Is Guerilla Testing?

“Have trouble getting actual customers for usability testing because of the company's legacy systems, or vice versa ?”

“Don't have the money and time and experts to do usability testing?” or,

“The organisation thinks usability testing isn’t necessary.”

  • Guerrilla testing is a low-cost, lean, and agile method of collecting data for testing and validating a hypothesis in a short session focused on specific tasks.
  • Participants are not recruited in advance instead approached in a number of environments by the team, where similar demographics are targeted. For e.g shoppers in coffee shops, admin in an office environment and more.

Why Do Guerilla Testing?

  • A simple method for collecting enough data to make well-informed strategic design decisions.
  • Running these tests doesn't necessitate a big budget
  • Assist senior stakeholders and product teams in understanding the importance of usability testing and customer feedback
  • Everyone on the team can facilitate without any research experts
  • Flexible approach that can be implemented at any stage of product development

How to do Guerilla Testing?

  1. Preparations:
  • Learning outcome: Agree with the team on the list of task you as a team want to learn from the usability testing
  • Prepare scenarios: Make sure the tasks are easy to read, understand and follow with clear instructions. For example:

    Scenario: You are “admin” in xx company, your daily job…...

    Task: Add “xx company details” and submit.

  • Create a prototype: This can be low-fidelity to interactive

  • Participants: Agree on the total number of users and their demographics required. In addition, 3-5 users should suffice for this type of usability testing, as the emphasis is primarily on qualitative data.
  1. Logistics:
  • Find a location: It’s best to test in the location that is specific to targeted demographics and environment who use the applications if possible

    For e.g: If your app is about buying a coffee, you can arrange a testing in a coffee shop

  • Always get permission: make sure the venue's staff is aware of your plans.

  • Recording equipments: Always take camera or phone to take a video
  • Extra helping hands: Always take someone with you as an observer and notetaker to capture insights.
  1. Introduce and learn about your participants:
  • Approach and introduce yourself, then inquire if they have 10-20 minutes available.
  • Check to see if they meet the particular criteria (demographics) you're looking for.

    For e.g: What is their level of technological knowledge? What devices do they use on a daily basis? How often do they use it?

  1. Explain the intent of your usability testing:

    Give specifics on the testing's purpose and how the results will be helpful in the future.

    “We are not testing you. We are just testing the flow of the application. Your feedback will help us to improve our product.”

  2. Ask Permission:

    Inquire if the participant is okay with you filming and photographing them for observation purposes.

    “Are you ok for us to take your picture and video while conducting a usability testing? If yes, Are you also OK if we use the assets for internal/ External use?”

  3. Always apply “Think out loud” practice:

    Understanding the process that goes on behind the user's eyes is a good idea.

    “I will also ask you to think out loud practice, meaning just say what you are thinking, trying to accomplish and expect to happen throughout”

  4. Observe their interaction, also ASK questions but don't lead

    Observe their actions and responses, and if they seem stuck, inquire as to why they are stuck and what they expect to happen next. Don't give them the answer or tell them what you expect to happen. Instead, inquire of them.

    “What happened, can you tell us what you are thinking?”

    “In your opinion, What do you think should happen next?”

  5. Capture insights and share:

    There are various ways of capturing findings and share with the wider team including the stakeholders. You can either make a note or rate in the following order along with your notes:

    1 - Completed without any problem

    2 - some problems

    3 - Not completed, some problem

Embedded Content

  1. Thank and incentivize participants:

    Finally, thank the participants for their time and, if necessary, provide incentives.

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