Inspiration Log: Entry 9

Employees as Usability-Test Participants

Angie Li’s article concerning the use of employees for usability testing was rather interesting. She declares in the opening statement of the article that even though this practice can be cheap it is a poor judgement of your genuine audience’s needs and perspective. The main reasons that companies use employees for usability testing are convenience, confidentiality, attracting attention, and lowering cost. However, there are plenty of reasons as to why this idea is not a good one.

A key reason why this practice does not work is that employees have prior knowledge of the company as well as this project. Additionally, employees may feel pressured to complete the task and, as a result, have higher motivation than a regular participant. Lastly, the employee’s could carry a positive or negative bias while participating depending on their relationship with the company. All of these are good reasons as to why employees would not be the best choice for participants in a usability test.


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