Graham Herrli's Reviews > The Moderator's Survival Guide: Handling Common, Tricky, and Sticky Situations in User Research

The Moderator's Survival Guide by Donna Tedesco
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's review
Jul 01, 2015

really liked it
bookshelves: design-related
Recommended for: both novice and expert user researchers

I look forward to using this book in practice.

The first part of the book establishes a framework of how to deal with the wide variety of situations that might arise, including suggestions for adapting your moderation style using common patterns.

The second part contains practical advice on how to deal with a wide variety of specific problems that arise when performing user research...from drunk participants to interruptive observers and from earthquakes to technical issues. This section of the book might be better used as a reference text than read normally. I read through it, but after a while it got to be a bit repetitive; each possible situation has similarities with others.

Scattered throughout the second section are one-page first-person case studies written by other user researchers, which add a pleasant change of pace and a degree of levity to what is otherwise a list of reference topics.

The end of the book pulls everything together into precise and useful checklists that can be used to lessen the likelihood of the unpleasant situations arising in the first place. These checklists are succinct, with just the right amount of information to be usable in practical situations. I fully intend to use them when preparing studies in the future.

The authors state that they've written this book with the intention of it being useful both to novice and expert user researchers, and in this I think they've succeeded. The presentation was basic enough to make sense to a relative novice yet detailed enough that even a long-time practitioner can likely find some information of use in the checklists and the advice for rare situations.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
June 24, 2015 – Finished Reading
July 1, 2015 – Shelved
July 1, 2015 – Shelved as: design-related

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