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Preparation for the session

Pre test user instruction (to be read out loud and can be adopted for online use)


Dear [User],

Thank you very much for taking the time to help us testing and improving our platform!

My name is [Tester], I’m a [Tester position] at our company.

At the moment we are working on a [feature description]. Before this feature goes into production we want to test that it works as intended. For this purpose, we have built a clickable prototype. This prototype is not completely functional or interactive but it should be sufficient to give you an impression of the feature.

When the test starts I will ask you to perform an activity on the prototype as if you were alone doing it. Particularly, I would like you to think out loud as you are using the prototype. You can take a look at this 1-minute example of how to think aloud during the session:

Basically, when you click on something or making a decision, we would like to know how do you think about it and why you are doing it. If something doesn't work as you expected, explain that to me. Also if you really like something, let me know.

And don’t worry that you’re going to hurt someone’s feelings. We are doing this to improve the site, so we need to hear your honest reactions.

With your permission, we will record the session because it’s hard to capture everything by note taking and we don’t have the possibility to go back if something is missing. The recording will only be used internally and seen by the people working on the project.

The session is scheduled on the [Xth of X XXXX at YY:YY] Berlin time. Please, ensure that you will have a high-speed Internet connection and approximately one hour of your time. Also, it is really important that you choose a quiet place without any disturbances to conduct the test.

[We are going to use software for conducting a user test. You will receive the link to the test and the instructions 30 minutes prior to the test. Additionally, we would like to ask you to ensure that you have Google Chrome browser installed, as our testing software supports only this option.] / [We are still figuring out which tool we are going to use to do the session. I will probably send you a link shortly beforehand to invite you for screen sharing.] In the case of technical problems, we can connect beforehand via Skype. Therefore, could you please send me your Skype contact details?

[I will update you tomorrow morning on how exactly we will connect.]

Thanks again for helping us out with this, we appreciate your input a lot.

[I’m also sending you warm greetings from Diana Forster from our support team who had the idea of contacting you.]

If you have any further questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Kind regards,

our company team


Cheatsheet text for pre-test: PDF Think Aloud pretest - version 09/06/17


  1. Different techniques of talking in order not to bias a user and to take the most from the observation (not a conversation): NNgroup - Talking with Participants During a Usability Test
  2. How to really observe users behaviour instead of relying on their wordsNNgroup - First Rule of Usability? Don't Listen to Users
  3. Helpful instructions to remote usability testing.
  4. NNgroup - Turn User Goals into Task Scenarios for Usability Testing