Marketing Insight: Live Conversation

When you need information that’s not covered by a Quick Answer test, you can use Live Conversation to talk directly with your target customers.

What is Live Conversation?

Live Conversation is feedback from one-on-one live video interviews where you can ask questions, listen, interact, and share screens at any stage of a project. Scheduling and recruitment typically takes less than a day. Choose Live Conversation when you need to do discovery interviews or have an issue not covered by Quick Answers. All Live Conversations are 30 minutes.

And interviews are automatically recorded so you can share important moments and replies with developers and stakeholders.

Would you like to watch a recorded conversation? Check out the first video on What does a moderated study look like?

Finding Customers

There are two ways you can find people to speak with:

  • The UserTesting Panel
  • My Recruit

My Recruit
UserTesting Panel

The UserTesting panel is a diverse and global on-demand group of people who take tests. The panel is made up of real people, carefully selected after a thorough application process, who are continually rated by our customers, assuring the highest quality results.

See Also

Marketing Insight: Finding the Right Participants

My Recruit

Use My Recruit when you want to use people you already have in mind. These can be employees, existing customers, industry experts, and people within unique demographics. When you select this option you’ll be able to invite specific people to a Live Conversation using their email addresses. 

See Also

What is My Recruit?
My Recruit Success Kit

Providing Availability

Once you’ve selected who you would like to speak with, you need to provide your availability so that Product Insight can schedule your Live Conversations.


Once you click Provide Availability, we recommend you watch the in-app tutorial if this is your first time scheduling availability. If you want to see it again, click “How does this work?” at the top of the Interview Setup pane.


When setting up your availability, you can select any of the following:

  • Set how much time you would like between each interview.
  • Increase or decrease the number of hours you want for advance notice.
  • Click in the calendar to indicate your availability.

Below the calendar, you can also provide any relevant information you want to tell participants about the interview (this is optional).


Click on Done to continue and review your selections.

Once you’ve completed setting up your availability, you can click Submit Request.



Customizing your My Recruit Invitation

With My Recruit you are also able to customize the invitation that goes out to your contacts. After selecting your participants and setting your availability, you can customize your invitations. Simply select “Customize Invitations” to get started.


With Customized Instructions you may provide any of the following:

  • Add your company and/or team name.
  • Add a brief description of what you want to discuss or any details you think they should know about before the interview.
  • Drag your logo onto the Brand Asset field.
  • Click Preview if you’d like to see how participants will experience the page.

Preview.pngOnce you’ve customized your invitation, select Done to launch your Live Conversation.


Live Conversation Best Practices

Most people like to talk about themselves, so your job is to get them talking and then gently guide them with questions and comments at the right time. Here are a few pointers on how to make the conversation flow more smoothly and get the information you need.

Listen more than you speak

When you’re excited about your prototype or concept or new website, it’s tempting to show off what you know and help participants, but the real benefit comes from listening to them. Ask questions to get them to open up, but then just watch and listen.

Here are some ways to move the conversation along without steering it artificially:

  • Acknowledgment tokens. Say things like “uh huh,” “OK,” and “mmhmm” as often as you think necessary. These signal that you’re taking in what the participant is saying and you’d like them to continue along the same lines.
  • Paraphrasing. Sometimes it helps to give a little summary of what the participant just said—“So you’re saying that the boxes on the bottom are hard to read?”—to make sure that you’ve heard and understood correctly.
  • Ask people to think out loud. If you’ve asked participants to attempt an activity, ask them to think out loud as they do it. At the beginning of the interview say “As you use the product, I’d like you to try to think out loud as much as possible: to say what you’re looking at, what you’re trying to do, and what you’re thinking.
  • Avoid answering questions. Participants are going to ask you how something is meant to work, what it’s supposed to mean, and so on. Your job is to find out what they think, not give them the answer. Instead of answering a question, try saying “What do you expect to happen?” or “What do you think it means?”. We recommend spending the last few minutes of an interview actually answering their questions so they don’t leave frustrated.

Ask non-leading questions

Make sure that each task and question is neutral and non-leading, so the test participant isn't biased to answer a certain way. For example, say “What do you think about the layout of the homepage?” instead of “Do you like the layout of the homepage?”

Protect people’s privacy

If the product you’re testing requires people to sign into an account, make sure the participant isn’t sharing their screen to avoid capturing Personal Identifiable Information (PII). We recommend suggesting they pause sharing the screen at that time.

Here’s what you can say: “For this next activity you have to provide personal information. To protect your privacy, please pause sharing your screen.” Then ask participants to click the Pause button. You can also ask them to stop sharing the screen, then restart when they are done.

Take notes

One benefit of conducting Live Conversation interviews on the UserTesting platform is you don’t have to take notes during the interview. Sessions are recorded, allowing you to review and take notes at your leisure after the session.

That said, once you get the hang of conducting interviews, you can take some notes during the session to bookmark interesting moments and speed up decision making afterwards.

We created a Google Spreadsheet template that timestamps your notes. Read more in this blog post on “How to streamline your customer interviews with note taking and automated reporting.”


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