The User Testing Team

Depending on the size of your institution and available resources, you may take on several or all of these roles yourself or may be able to split the roles up between others. More information about how these roles perform can be found in the coordination and performing user testing section.


The person responsible for general communications and logistics for the test.


  1. Coordinates all internal and external communications
  2. Leads recruitment
  3. Administrates test incentives
  4. Coordinates logistics


The person responsible for guiding and leading test participants through the test.


  1. Works most with test participants
  2. Acquires test participant consent
  3. Explains the reason for testing and reviews instructions test participants should follow during testing, e.g. the think out loud process
  4. Answers questions from participants that may occur during testing


The person who observes and takes notes during the test.


  1. Sets up the test for every new participant
  2. Takes notes about participant’s behaviors, comments, errors, and completion (success or failure) for each task

Results Analyzer

The person who creates a meaningful report about the evaluation based on the testing results.


  1. Makes sure testing documentation is complete and organized before results analysis
  2. Analyzes testing results
  3. Creates user testing report

Users/Test Participants

The people who will be giving their time to support your testing.


  1. Be available for a maximum of one hour of testing


Talking with Participants During a Usability Test (Nielsen Norman)
Focuses on the importance of user testing facilitators “talking less and learn more” approach to working with users. Good resource for thinking through approaches to facilitator behaviors during usability studies.

User Guidelines for Uability Research (Nielsen Norman)
Provides guidelines for test implementors assuming the role of observer or notetaker. Topics include how to observe a research session, notetaking instructions, and has an example of what user testing notetaking looks like.

Persona Method
From the The Encyclopedia of Human-Computer Interaction, 2nd Ed., this in-depth overview covers the user persona method. This resource is an overview about how user personas are used in design and development processes. The author breaks down different aspects of personas creation from perspectives like goal-directed and role-based user personas. It also gives explanations for why user stories, scenarios, and use cases are crucial for design success.

Involving Users in Web Projects for Better, Easier Accessibility (W3C)
Emphasizes the importance of users engaging and being involved with your design and development processes. The resource places accessibility at the center of user engagement with your process. It also highlights the importance of combining user involvement with standards for web application development.