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my personal issue with the practice of user testing is I struggle a bit with the transitions between the tasks. Of course, I ask dynamically with base questions as a foundation but when the moment has come to introduce the next task my previous one often ends with "ok", "cool", or something like that.

How can I make the conversation more natural at these moments (and at all)?

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    Show us the template that you are testing and the questions you are doing. And please, explain a more about the tests. – Rafael Perozin Mar 6 '20 at 8:48
  • Agree with @Rafael. If you are doing Usability Tests, you should have a moderator script containing the questions - what's in there? And I usually design the tasks so as to make sense as a complete flow (e.g., first task is about finding something on the page, next task is about doing something with it). That way, the tester does not experience a break. Depends on your tasks, however - that's why you should add that to your question. – virtualnobi Mar 18 '20 at 8:34
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One way is to have prepared the transitions into your list of questions.

You can look into “speech transitions” used in presentations, interviews, etc.

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Do you think you're having an issue with your test subjects being uncomfortable? Or are you feeling a bit awkward when facilitating sessions?

My approach now is a tiny hand clap and saying "Alrighty then, let's move onto the next one" which is not a gesture I make in normal life. It's a bit of a forced gesture I'm making right now to be a little more "sterile" in my facilitating. I used to do user testing for an ad agency. It was a cool building users were getting paid and they were excited to take part, I didn't need to be formal. Now I'm doing user testing with military users. They were told to be there and if I seem flakey, awkward, or overly friendly they'll usually mess up or do weird things during the tests just to mess with me.

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My approach is to set up the user to tell me when they are done, with the caveat that I'll gently stop them in the interest of keeping us moving. I've rarely had to intervene as long as I let the user know they can't fail, it's them testing our solution vs us testing them.

In setting up the test I'll tell the user to indicate when they are done with a task, or when they believe they cannot complete it. I'll usually say "thank you" or "ok" and move on to reading the next task description. Primary intent is to acknowledge the transition, so the response itself is more important than what I say. I also work to keep consistency and neutrality so I'm minimizing any chance I influence the test.

The first few clients where I did this I felt really weird, but once I got my own rhythm going it was a bit more comfortable. Hope this helps!

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