I want to run some remote usability tests on an e-commerce website.

I was just wondering if I should be giving the users fake information to input (e.g fake address, name, telephone number ) during the task scenario or let them use their own information?

The payment information will be fake.

2 Answers 2


I would use a tool like Mockaroo to generate fake information for the users rather than their personal information. Some 'may' take offense at using their information, so giving everyone fake data removes that risk entirely. Plus if you use fake data, you could have each user do multiple tests with different data sets, thereby increasing the sample size at the same time.

  • Mockaroo is a really great website. I used it to test a database once, and it worked really well. Commented Apr 25, 2015 at 18:50

If you're doing this for an e-commerce site, you'll be using payments options.

All payment options that I know offer a "sandbox mode" that allows you to use fake info, although some of them provide you that info in a very specific way, like not any CC number, but very specific credit card numbers for testing purposes.

So there you have your answer: whatever payment option you need to test, will give you fake info to use in sandbox mode, so using fake info is OK. Furthermore, you already say that the payment info will be fake.

Now, a very different scenario is if you want to test usability and consumer behavior. Let's say, you want to test your form to see if they are clear and your target understands what it is required. For example, the format you use to input name, or phone, or address, or whatever. To be more specific: It's not the same to use something like askdjhakjsdhkash than to use Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, CA . If you need to test the user behavior when faced with your form, I'd use real info.

Finally, you can read more on the subject at http://www.measuringu.com/blog/credit-usability.php , some of the tips might be of use for you

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