We created seven companion videos to this book (with the help of some wonderful colleagues). Each video illustrates a moderator putting into practice the moderation tips and patterns listed for one or more situations listed in the book.
The videos represent a cross-section of both frequent and rare situations that occur when moderating, as well as across multiple methods and coverage of all of the moderation patterns listed in Chapter 3.
Though the videos are for educational purposes, we made some situation and scripting choices to spice up the entertainment value as well!
What They Show
The videos are designed to show a progression in a situation’s severity level. For example, in the Flirtatious Participant video, the participant starts with some friendly and subtle interaction, then is more forthright with her flirtatiousness, and eventually is outright inappropriate.
We show the different degrees of “intensity” to illustrate how a moderator might handle those different levels rather than showing a realistic progression of a user research session.
What to Consider
For each video, consider—what would you do if you were the moderator?
Certain phrases or behaviors suit some moderators better than others. Even in filming the videos we needed to revise scripts and let the actors improvise at times so that they could stay true to their style and personality. Would it work for you to handle the situation the illustrated way? What might you do differently?
Although we feel that these are generally good examples of moderating, there will always be room for improvement and aspects of a situation that spark debate in the moderating community. We encourage you to think critically about these videos and have that discussion with colleagues. And by all means, feel free to send us feedback.
Video 1: The Self-Blaming Participant
Watch Video 1 to see an example of a moderator interacting with a self-blaming participant during a usability study. The participant is very nervous about the session and is looking for affirmation.
Video 2: The Distracted Participant
Watch Video 2 to see an example of a moderator working with a participant who is distracted by external circumstances during a usability study. The participant is reluctant to leave the session early even though he is distracted and has trouble focusing.
Video 3: The Reluctant Remote Participant
Watch Video 3 to see an example of a moderator interacting with a distracted participant during a remote usability study. The participant ends up sharing more than she intends.
Video 4: The Flirtatious Participant
Watch Video 4 to see an example of a moderator dealing with a flirtatious participant during a usability study. The participant starts off being friendly but becomes more forward as the session progresses.
Video 5: The Interrupting Observer
Watch Video 5 to see an example of a moderator dealing with an interrupting observer during a contextual inquiry. The moderator pulls the observer out of the room to reiterate the session ground rules.
Video 6: The Participant with Misconceptions
Watch Video 6 to see an example of a participant who is expecting an interview instead of a contextual inquiry. The moderator clarifies her expectations, but has to repeat them a couple of times as the session progresses.
Video 7: The Misrecruited Participant
Watch Video 7 to see an example of a moderator realizing that the participant scheduled for an interview lacks the necessary experience. The moderator discusses what to do with a stakeholder and finds a way to adapt the session.