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Moderated testing is the go-to approach for collecting qualitative feedback from test participants who perform specific tasks to check the usability of a product. It offers the answer to “why did the user interact with a product in a particular way?

Moderated testing aims to improve the user experience by identifying potential problems and errors that may affect user experience to a great extent. However, moderated usability testing is nothing intimidating but demands careful planning.


Importance of moderated testing

Moderated testing stands among one of the best user experience determinants as it allows moderators to utilize the test participants’ interaction to the full extent. Trained moderators help the participants get back on track if they are confused or perform a wrong task.

Upon the detection of any problem or ambiguity in the user interface or any other back-end software discrepancies, moderators will clarify the problems. Eventually, the website or product users are able to understand the service better.

Moreover, moderated testing is far more engaging than other usability testing methods. This is because it allows free conversation, exchange of feedback, error detection in real-time, and so on. Further, this builds excellent relations between the business and its potential and existing customers.


How can you set goals for moderated testing?


Generate the scope of testing

Initially, you should be aware of the exact goals and reasons for moderated testing. Consider refraining from outlining goals like “improving the signup process.” Focus on objectives like “reducing signup dropouts from 50 to 20 percent”.

Knowing what you want and what the moderated testing is for will help the participants and moderators.  Which part of the product or service do you want to put under test? Why should it be under test? What are your goals, e.g., higher content engagement on the website?


Engage the correct test participants

After learning what your goals are and what you want to test and/or improve in your website or product, you should seek the right test participants. Not to mention, it is highly critical to the achievement of valid results for the correct participants to test a new or updated service or product.

The right people who are likely to visit your website or use your products are the ones who can provide the necessary feedback and opinion. Not only will they follow the specific instructions of the moderators and user experience teams but they also participate fully due to personal interest.


What metrics do you use for moderated testing?

Usability metrics are necessary to assess the success of your user experience strategy. There is no trick that will suggest how certain people will use your mobile or web product. In fact, using the right metrics will allow you to track changes, set benchmarks, and compare data.

Some of the metrics that are in use for moderated usability testing include critical errors, time on task, successful task completion, test level satisfaction, error-free rate, etc.



Setting goals will not only allow you to learn more about the pain points and user experience impairment but also how you can prioritize the user experience goals. Consequently, learning your business/ website/ product needs will enable you to streamline moderated testing processes. In turn, it will provide meaningful and reliable results for improvement.


Sweta Patel


Sweta manages omni-channel marketing at TryMyUI and has previously worked as a Startup Growth Advisor for Plug and Play Center and 500Startups.



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By Sweta Patel

Sweta manages omni-channel marketing at TryMyUI and has previously worked as a Startup Growth Advisor for Plug and Play Center and 500Startups.

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