How to launch a light ethnography study


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 test 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 something like their refrigerator?

Incorporate a Camera Tasks Section (New!)


Beginning July 30, 2020, all Insight Core customers have the ability when creating a test plan to add camera tasks. By doing so, we’ll automatically add a screener question and instructions making it clear to participants that they will need to engage the rear-facing camera when completing the test, and we also make it easy for them to initiate engaging the camera with the push of a button.

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) 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.

Ready to launch your own light ethnography test?

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

Additional Resources

eBook: Testing Mobile Experiences

Live Training: Testing the Mobile Experience

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