7.4: Recruiting User Testers
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It’s relatively easy to find user testers through social media groups, disability and accessibility mailing lists, university accessibility services, or organizations that serve people with disabilities. People with disabilities tend to be receptive to testing when you are improving accessibility, and are often willing to refer you to other potential testers.
After all the work that she and her team have done, Lulu realizes that one potential source of referrals for user testers may in fact be the organization who approached Lulu’s Lollipops to inquire about their accessibility in the first place!
It is important that user testers be screened for particular characteristics, including good understanding of web technologies, as well as proficiency using their respective AT. This is necessary, in most cases, to ensure that issues that testers’ experience during testing are attributable to problems with the web content or application being tested, and not the result of inexperience with the Web or limited expertise with the AT being used.
There are a number of questions that you can ask that will help gauge a user tester’s level of knowledge.
The two main categories of questions to cover in screening user testers are:
- Web Knowledge
- Assistive Technology Expertise
Toolkit: Download the User Tester Screening Questions [docx] and add it to your Toolkit. Note that the template includes instructional commentary that you should remove if you distribute the questions to potential users. Though these questions can be a good indicator of a tester’s level of understanding, keep in mind that users may exaggerate their experience or not be aware of their level of understanding. Additional questions or observation may be needed once the user is in front of a computer using their assistive technology.
For another approach to screening users for accessibility testing, visit the following resource: Recruiting Screener.