I’ve never been a moderator for any usability test before this week.
I am very critical of the performance, and I felt that I was worse than I thought it would be after watching and listening to the test session several times. I found myself speaking too fast and saying “umm” often which I need to get corrected. With practice, I will need to slow down and talking more naturally to the user, will help fix these two most critical areas. I did feel that I was unbiased, I let the user operate the website as she would regularly use it without me helping her. I let the user speak more than I did so that I would not lead her too much other than what tasks needed to complete.
I would in the future want to ask and engage with the user a bit more; however, that is also dependent on the type of testing we are doing. In this summative test with the given tasks to the user and watching her use the site as well as getting her feedback out loud was our primary goal. The thing that surprised me the most is getting the technology and promoting the user to do certain tasks was a bit of a surprise challenge that I thought it would be. So I needed to do some dry runs a couple of times before getting started to make sure the flow of the test went as smooth as possible.
Overall, I learned that being prepared is crucial in moderating a usability test and I believe practicing in front of a group of people at work with more stakeholders, group critics, etc. will help me be more comfortable talking to users in testing.