Use Cases for Understanding Your Customers' Environment


At a Glance

The UserTesting Platform can help you collect information about where people live and work and the context in which they make decisions, and gather feedback on physical products used within that environment.


Being in Their Shoes

How to Collect Feedback



People don’t live in a wholly online environment. Their physical environment can have a huge impact on the actions they take and the decisions they make. Your company may also want feedback on the physical products that people use.

Being in Their Shoes

Seeing a person interact with or use a product in their own environment opens up opportunities for you to be virtually in their shoes. The UserTesting Platform allows you to…

  • See, hear, and talk to people remotely as they engage with your products, apps, and messaging in their own environment. 
  • Quickly gather perspectives from customers interacting with your product or service in their own environment so you can adapt to better meet their needs.
  • Ask contributors to show you their surroundings such as a living room, kitchen, or the inside of their vehicle.
  • Ask contributors to show how they interact with a product in their home, such as a thermostat or a toaster, including the unboxing of new products.
  • Collect feedback on destinations contributors can go to.

How to Collect Feedback

To collect this feedback, here are some resources and best practices:

  • The Camera task guides the contributor on how to share their mobile camera view. Ask the contributor to show you where they have located a particular product and how they use it, or simply describe aspects of their environment.
  • Leverage the Customer environment and context template in the Platform’s Template Gallery to get started on creating your test plan.
  • Conduct destination tests by setting up a two-part diary study and screening for people willing to go to a specific destination, such as their nearby metro stop. The flow of a typical destination-test diary study would look like this:
    • In the first test, collect background information about the contributor, including needs and expectations, so as to better understand the contributor.
    • At the end of the first test, ask them to proceed to the location they agreed to go and, when there, to start their second test, which you will direct to them.
    • Use either the Specific contributor or Favorite contributors Build Audience option to direct the second test to only the people who completed the first test. (They’ll get an email and see your test on the dashboard, so use the Other requirements filter to explain that this test is “Part 2”).
    • In the second test, leverage the Camera task to have the contributor share their mobile camera view and provide feedback on that destination. (For example, do they understand how to get a metro ticket or can they understand the metro map.)


Unboxing tests can be conducted in a similar way to the destination test above.

  • Screen for individuals willing to participate in one test where they buy a product using a gift code, and a follow-up test where they unbox that product when it arrives.
  • In the first test, provide contributors a gift code, coupon code, or another method of obtaining the product without paying for it themselves. Also, blur the steps where they conduct the purchase to avoid collecting their physical address or other personally identifiable information (PII). Learn more about transaction testing and protecting PII.
  • You will then direct the second test to only those contributors who completed the first test and they will take that second test while unboxing the product when it arrives.
  • Note that you cannot ask UserTesting Contributor Network members for their address for the purpose of sending products directly to them. Doing so violates the Terms and Conditions for both you and the contributor. Request assistance from the UserTesting’s Professional Services team to assist you in shipping products.

Learn More

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