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What is a moderator?

A moderator is a person who oversees a usability test, either in person or remotely. A moderator should be impartial and not try to influence the outcome of the test. In focus groups a moderator’s role is to facilitate the discussion to allow everyone in the group to give relevant and honest feedback.

What are the advantages of using a moderator?

The main advantage of using a moderator in usability testing and focus groups is that clients can ensure that the targets for these activities are met to the highest possible degree. Because a moderator’s role is to be impartial, the results from user testing are more accurate and users may be more likely to vocalize their responses to the product or application.

How to moderate a usability test

Before a usability test or focus group begins, the moderator creates the moderator guide to outline the procedure. This ensures that nothing important is missed. The moderator will often talk to the client before making the moderator guide, so that they know what focus the test or discussion should take. The moderator then runs the usability test or discussion following these points. A moderator’s role is to put the volunteers at ease and to ensure that the client receives honest and detailed feedback.

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