As UX researchers, we study a wide variety of people in many different contexts. We value face time with users as a precious commodity, but a lot of challenges can crop up during research sessions. While we're well prepared for expected challenges like difficult recruits or travel snafus, we sometimes face obstacles that are harder to foresee. Over 15 years, we’ve seen it all: power outages, disappearing stimuli, and participants who show up shirtless. In these situations, we've learned that a can-do attitude and quick thinking can make all the difference.

Here is the story (courtesy of one of our favorite Centralis alumni, Elizabeth Allen) of one of our teams in just such a situation. For more on how to plan for and deal with unexpected user research challenges, check out Kathi Kaiser's Madison+UX presentation "If It Can Go Wrong, It Will: How to Bulletproof your User Research".


If you’d like to speak with Centralis about planning your next UX study, email us or call us anytime at 847-864-7713.


View Elizabeth Allen's post on handling tough situations

View Kathi Kaiser's talk on how to avoid foreseeable obstacles in research