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The Moderator’s Survival Guide

The Moderator’s Survival Guide is your indispensable resource for navigating the rocky shoals of your one-on-one user research sessions. Inside, you’ll find guidance for nearly 100 diverse situations (ranging from business-as-usual to tricky and sticky) that might occur during usability studies, contextual inquiries, or user interviews.

As a moderator, you are responsible for the well-being of the participant, your study, and your organization. You must be prepared for anything that may happen, from your technology failing to the participant quailing. Use this guide to identify your best next steps, react appropriately, and survive any challenges that comes your way.

  • Practical, field-tested, and actionable tips for what to do and say-and what NOT to do or say-in each situation.
  • Key patterns and extensive examples to sharpen your approach to the commonplace and prepare you for the unlikely.
  • Illustrative “survival stories” contributed by numerous professionals on the front lines of user research.

Table of Contents
Part 1: Your Moderation Toolkit
Chapter 1. Moderation Matters: Power, Responsibility, and Style
Chapter 2. In the Trenches: Six Steps for Handling Situations
Chapter 3. Mix and Match: Your Moderation Patterns Toolbox

Part 2: Your Survival Guide
Chapter 4. Recruiting Mishaps: Participants You Weren’t Expecting
Chapter 5. Participant Misconceptions: Not What the Participant was Expecting.
Chapter 6. Some Guidance Required: Participants in Need of Shepherding.
Chapter 7. Make it Work: Handling Technical Obstacles
Chapter 8. Is This Right? Responding to Uncertain Participants.
Chapter 9. What’s Going On? Recovering from External Interruptions.
Chapter 10. Get on Track: Overcoming Momentum Blockers.
Chapter 11. Take the Wheel: Guiding Wayward Participants.
Chapter 12. A Delicate Touch: Addressing Sensitive Situations
Chapter 13. Uncomfortable Interactions: Responding to Awkward Situations
Chapter 14. Safety First: Minimizing Emotional and Physical Distress

Part 3: Improving Your Skills
Chapter 15. An Ounce of Prevention: Avoiding and Mitigating Situations
Chapter 16. Sharpening Steel: How to Improve Your Skills and Help Others Improve Theirs

Appendix A. What to Say
Appendix B. Preparing for a Successful Session
Appendix C. Resources

Book Details

  • Paperback: 364 pages
  • Publisher: Morgan Kaufmann (November 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0124047009
  • ISBN-13: 978-0124047006
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