Penelope Rance

My UX research & design ramblings

War Stories - part 2

If you do enough research with real human beings you will start to build up a collection of ‘war stories’ about things that went wrong that you can learn from. This could be anything from you forgot the spare batteries to recruiting the wrong people to speak to and anything in between.

A couple of weeks ago I had one day of testing in London. I spent Monday in the office then left early to catch a train to London to spend the night before an early start testing on Tuesday.

Monday was pretty hectic and I was rushing more than I would have liked. But everything was coming together OK and I was following the packing list with no real problems.

Testing laptop, check. Devices, check. Incentives, check. Etc.

I had a small issue with the printer when it came to my test scripts but I got there in the end, although it made me a little later leaving than I had hoped.

However, with the help of a very patient husband I still managed to catch the train I had been aiming for and found my hotel without trouble.

After the hectic day I found some dinner and relaxed with some knitting before going to bed.

I woke at 4am having remembered I should have charged the iPhone up and that I had not set up my bookmarks for the days testing.

Not a big issue but I reluctantly got up and got the iphone out. But I could not find the charger. The chargers I had were all for the android devices or tablets which I did not have with me! And the iPhone only had 13% battery.

Swear words were issued. What to do? My phone is android and although I had my iPad I had charged it the night before so had not bothered to bring the charger.

The most annoying thing was that I had checked the chargers were in the bag before I packed it for exactly this reason, but I had not actually connected them.

In the end I sent a message to my colleague who would be joining me at 8am in the hope she might be able to pop into the office on her way to the station.

In the end her husband lent us his charger and she appeared with good time to get the iPhone fed and set up before our participants arrived.

But I did not sleep for the rest of the night and was very glad when it was time to finally get up.

Learning point: always check you have the right chargers. Just because they are white and small does not mean they are the correct ones.

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