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Participant Nights




Prep time

80 Hours


As defined in the Steps

Run time

4 Hours



Use this play to

Use this play when

Materials & tools




  1. Choose a product and set of tasks for participants to complete.
  2. Recruit a small group of participants to travel to a central location (e.g., office conference room or rented workspace). Participants can be diverse or focused -- for example, you might choose a group with varying demographics and familiarity with the product, or you might choose a group that share certain characteristics (such as people with disabilities).
  3. Invite internal Pearson stakeholders to attend. Attendees can be diverse or focused, just like participants -- they can be all developers, or a mix of the lifecycle group, for example PM, designer, developers, testers, etc. They can come from many parts of the business, particularly from areas where direct consumer interaction is lacking.
  4. Set up in a large room (or set of divided rooms) where participants can sit side by side, with a pair of stakeholders who watch their interactions and ask questions. a. Note: Be mindful of noise and how that may affect usability (e.g., if a user is too anxious or can't use their assistive technology in a loud environment). b. Allow participants to bring their own equipment but also have some stations already set up for use. Stakeholders can rotate to different stations or stay with one participant, depending on the length of the tasks.
  5. After the event, have attendees capture their observations in the format best suited for the event and attendees -- for example, an online doc, sets of written Post-it notes put on a communal board, or general notes shared over a team meeting. Optionally, a researcher (or team of researchers) can synthesize the observations to help generate actionable takeaways and shared learning.

    Note: This is an in-person activity, so doing it with remote teams may involve travel. It can help to combine it with other in-person meetings, such as project kick-offs.


Yahoo Case Study

Last updated: Dec 30, 2019