Startup work: User Research

During my stay at, I conducted several user tests and interviews. Several types of research have been conducted: structured, unstructured interviews, user tests, and evaluation tests. This is a difficult process to showcase effectively, but resulted in most if not all the development of the product.

Below one of the main scripts that were compiled to instruct other members on how to conduct interviews. It contains examples specific to Kollin and was created from several online and offline resources demonstrating industry best practices.


  1. Preparation
    • Ask for the appropriate number of accounts with the specific course already bought
  2. Decide which part of your product or website you want to test
    1. Go to the course page
    2. Impression course page
      • Graph
      • Recommended
      • Side/Navbar content
    3. Tasks – user’s most common goals when they interact with Kollin
      • Go to one exercise of X cluster and category and self assess
      • Create a test
      • Look for an exam of 2019
    4. Impression on the homepage
      • Message (copy)
      • Testimonials
    5. Impression on the course index
  3. Set a standard for success
    1. Go to one exercise of cluster “X” and category and self assess
      • Sidebar
      • Category exercise click
      • Click on one self-assessment
    2. Create a test “mock exam”
      • Go to the page (tab)
      • Start filling the information
      • Create the test
    3. Look for an exam of 2019
      • Go to tab
      • Select or filter
  1. Have a plan and script.

Moderators should follow the same script in each user session.

At the beginning talk about:

  • Purpose of the study, 
  • If you’ll be recording, 
  • Background on the product or website, 
  • Questions to learn about the participants’ current knowledge of the product or website, and, 
  • Their tasks
  1. Delegate roles.

During your usability study, the moderator has to remain neutral, carefully guiding the participants through the tasks while strictly following the script.

Note-taking during the study is also just as important. If there’s no recorded data, you can’t extract any insights that’ll prove or disprove your hypothesis.

  1. Conduct the study.

During the actual study, you should ask your participants to complete one task at a time, without your help or guidance. If the participant asks you how to do something, don’t say anything. You want to see how long it takes users to figure out your interface.

Asking participants to “think out loud” is also an effective tactic — you’ll know what’s going through a user’s head when they interact with your product or website.

After they complete each task, ask for their feedback at the end, e.g. :

  • If they expected to see what they just saw, 
  • If they would’ve completed the task if it wasn’t a test, 
  • If they would recommend your product to a friend, and 
  • What they would change about it
  1. Analyze your data.

When you analyze your data, make sure to pay attention to both:

  • Users’ performance
  • Their feelings about the product. It’s not unusual for a participant to quickly and successfully achieve your goal but still, feel negative about the product experience.


Extra: Select your participant.

Screening and recruiting the right participants is the hardest part of usability testing. Most usability experts suggest you should only test five participants during each study, but your participants should also closely resemble your actual user base. With such a small sample size, it’s hard to replicate your actual user base in your study.

To recruit the ideal participants for your study, create the most detailed and specific persona as you possibly can and incentivize them to participate with a gift card or another monetary reward

Published by Daniele Spaccapeli

I'm a computer science major who loves entrepreneurship and UX design.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: