Chapter 2

In the Trenches

Six Steps for Handling Situations


Once a session begins, you can follow six simple steps to figure out the best course of action when something unexpected, tricky, or sticky happens. These steps include taking a moment to evaluate the situation, resolving any threats to physical safety (yours or the participant’s), verifying that you’re not causing or magnifying the situation, checking the participant’s comfort level, using careful language and tone to probe on the situation and begin to resolve it, and regaining control to bring the session back on track.


user research safety; user research participant comfort; user research ethical issues; user research pretexts; user research moderator language; ...

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