All you need to know about moderated testing

An overview of moderated testing - what it is, why it's a good option for user testing, and methods.



In today’s world, it is important to maintain a human-centered mindset and organize a customer-obsessed approach towards your audience. Keeping competition aside, you should focus on qualitative studies and understand your audience better. You will find numerous tools such as moderated usability testing to achieve your goals. We understand that these techniques seem quite intimidating. Therefore, we aim to provide a better understanding of usability testing to start. Every research strategy has different benefits and features to obtain appropriate data and understand your audience. So, today, we will start with moderated testing and what benefits this technique offers. Let’s begin:

Moderated testing is a better option

The moderated testing process involves a moderator who supports the participants as they perform the tasks. If you are a moderator of the testing process, you have to facilitate the user and guide them. Whether they want accurate answers to questions or help to complete a task, you will provide it to them. In this method, moderators and participants can communicate at any point of the test. This testing process not only helps users solve challenges but can also develop confidence.

You can conduct this usability test in person or in a remote setting. The major challenge you might encounter while performing the test is keeping up with the participants. For that, you have to create a plan to communicate with and monitor them while performing their tasks. To streamline the communication, you must have a remote conferencing tool such as zoom. You will also need screen-sharing software such as team viewer. Furthermore, you need a quiet and designated location to interact with the participant avoiding any distractions.

Moderated testing methods

Here are some testing methods that you can choose for moderated testing:

  • Lab study
  • Interviews
  • Focus groups
  • Ethnographic study
  • Click testing
  • Card sorting
  • Remote usability testing

Benefits of moderated testing

  • Moderators can ask multiple questions and follow-up questions with the users and obtain in-depth information.
  • You can also test prototypes at different development steps.
  • Stakeholders can also observe the sessions. Also, you can share a descriptive report, so they develop a better understanding of the users.
  • It allows you to have an unplanned and unexpected conversation with the users. As a result, you can evaluate their behavior in a better way. Un-moderated or automated testing will not provide such benefits.
  • This technique enables you to take open interviews and user tests.
  • Moderated testing is one of the best methods to test unpublished web and mobile applications.
  • It works as a perfect tool for the RITE method
  • The preferred tools to perform moderated testing are GoToMeetingHangoutSkype, and other similar software.


Moderated testing helps you test your website or mobile application while it is in the development process. In the beginning, you choose some participants and ask them to perform activities on your website. While they participate in the tasks on your website, you monitor their behavior and identify the challenges they encounter.

The best part about this process is that it allows you to instantly communicate with users when they need help. For instance, if they are unable to comprehend the tasks, you can intervene and guide them to the right path.

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