How to Post a Light Ethnography Test

Last Updated: Jan 31, 2017 08:05AM PST

What is a light ethnography test?
Light ethnography testing is enabled by the beyond-the-device capability of the UserTesting mobile recorder, which allows you to capture experiences beyond what’s on the screen. Running a light ethnography tests allows you to gather footage of a participant’s environment or a product they are interacting with.

How can I conduct light ethnography testing with UserTesting?
 Order a website test on UserTesting with the following components:

  • Use screener questions to set participants up for success.
    • Make sure participants are located where you need them to be: Are they at home right now? Do they need to have access to their refrigerator?
    • Allow participants to opt out if they do not want to participate: "In this study, we’ll be asking you to open your camera to capture [task]. Are you able and willing to do this?"

  •  Make sure it’s clear when you want participants to use the camera to capture their experience during the test.
    • Start out your task with “Open your camera and show us [task] (if you follow the instructions, what you see on your screen is what is being recorded).” It makes it clear to participants when you want them to open their camera to capture a task.
    • Provide instructions on how to open the camera on the UserTesting mobile recorder. Note the instructions are different for iOS and Android:
      • ANDROID: Open your camera app on your phone. You do NOT need to actually record a video--simply keep the camera view open. 
      • iPHONE: Tap on the menu icon in the top left corner of the UserTesting app to select the “Share Camera View” option. Then, simply keep the camera view open.




What kinds of experiences can I capture?
You can ask participants to show you their surroundings (i.e. living room, kitchen, etc.), or show them interacting with a product (i.e. thermostat, toaster, etc) in their home. However, keep in mind that participants will be handling the phone, and will likely be completing the tasks one-handed.

Our mobile recorder also allows for customer experience studies such as unboxing and destination studies. These projects require assistance from UserTesting’s Professional Services team -- reach out to your CSM or 
submit a project request.


Ready to launch your own light ethnography test?
Use this light ethnography test template to get you started (it launches in your dashboard!)

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