When to Use Each Type of Test in the UserTesting Platform

At a Glance

When looking to test a site, app, concept, or prototype, you might have questions about which UserTesting test would best serve your testing objectives. This article breaks down commonly used UserTesting test types and when to use each.


When should I use a Live Conversation?

When should I use a standard unmoderated test?

When should I use a short test?

When should I use a Quick Answer test?


When should I use a Live Conversation?

A Live Conversation test is a type of moderated test in which you oversee and communicate with contributors in real-time as they are taking the test. Live Conversations are useful for a variety of testing objectives, ranging from conducting discovery interviews to concept and/or prototype testing.

Use this type of test when you want to...

  • Be available to guide participants in real-time through any technical difficulties they may encounter.
  • Ask personalized follow-up questions in real-time (and get responses to those questions immediately). For example, use Live Conversations to do discovery interviews, when you seek to learn about the customers' needs, behaviors, likes, and dislikes.
  • Observe visual cues such as body language and the contributor's surroundings–things that may hold key information not revealed in an unmoderated test.

When should I use a 15–20 minute unmoderated test?

In this type of unmoderated test, contributors test a concept, prototype, website, or app without a moderator present. In an unmoderated usability test, for example, contributors will tackle tasks you wrote for them and provide verbal feedback as their session is being recorded.

Consider using this testing format when you want to...

  • Get feedback quickly. Set up an unmoderated test and leverage the UserTesting Contributor Network to generate test results, usually that same day. 
  • Use larger sample sizes. Not needing a moderator present during each session makes it more convenient to include more contributors, such as having 30 contributors conduct a card sort.
  • Provide contributors flexibility in terms of scheduling. Contributors decide when and where they would like to complete an unmoderated test.
  • Ensure that contributors take the test in an environment that's natural to them, in which they feel most comfortable.

When should I use a short test?

A short test is a type of test that allows you to get focused feedback in the form of five-minute video responses. Short tests are ideal when looking to answer one key question.

Here are a few test types, drawn from the Platform’s Short test templates gallery, that lend themselves to this format. When paired with any of these types of tests, a well-executed short test can lay the foundation for more in-depth research and your decision-making throughout the design-development process.

  • First impressions: Short tests work well for getting quick initial reactions to a design, site, or app.
  • Validate concepts/designs: Run a short test that, for example, displays one or two screens of a prototype design. Use the resulting feedback to drive your decision-making throughout the design-development process.
  • Short entries for diary studies: Short tests can serve as daily check-ins for a diary study in which users test a product over multiple days/sessions.
  • Pre-screening for Live Conversation: Use a short test to home in on those contributors who would best serve your testing goals. For example, does the contributor have the expertise you need?

When should I use a Quick Answer test?

A Quick Answer test is a special type of test launched from a template. The test is a predefined, unmoderated test crafted to serve a specific, targeted testing goal.

You pick the type of test you need from a gallery of Quick Answer tests on the UserTesting Platform, fill out preliminary details about the test, and define your audience. Use a Quick Answer test when you want to:

  • Quickly launch a test by providing a few details about the item you want feedback on.
  • Leverage the set of tasks and questions that UserTesting’s research experts have built into a specific Quick Answer.

To learn more about Quick Answers, refer to our "Quick Answers: Overview" Knowledgebase article and the Using Quick Answers University course.

Learn More

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