COURSE Overview

We all know that testing with real, live users is critical to designing just about anything. But good grief, does it take long or what? Wait, what? How long does it have to take? Guerrilla testing is the subtle art of approaching people in public spaces (think parks, libraries, coffee shops) and observing them while they use a website, app, or product for a few minutes.

While guerrilla testing takes place in an informal setting, the first thing you'll learn is that it is far from impromptu. Well-planned, well-written, well-timed testing is the key to repeated lean success. In this class, you'll walk away with the know-how to do just that. We will cover all the questions bubbling in your mind...

  • What should I test?
  • Where should I test?
  • How can I prepare?
  • How long does it take?
  • What types of questions should I ask? 
  • How should they be written? 
  • Should I have a script?
  • What should I bring with me?
  • How do I approach people without being annoying... or better yet, how do I get people to approach me?
  • How do combine my findings with others'?
  • What are the best practices for tallying and sharing findings?
  • What's the best way to take notes?
  • What are the safety concerns? Do I have to tell legal? (oh no, say it ain't so!)
  • For heavens sake, do I have to be an extrovert?

Take this class to learn the subtle art of guerrilla testing from pros who have spent years perfecting their game. You'll then dive in fearlessly, taking what you've learned onto the street to practice. Passers-by, be warned.

After a full day of learning and practice, you'll be ready to tackle any gorillas that come your way... I mean, you'll be the gorilla... Er.... Are you still reading? Sign up already!

Objectives & Activities

In this class, you will learn and practice a lean-inspired method for usability testing, affectionately dubbed guerrilla testing. By the end of the course, you will be able to:

  • Plan effective testing sessions, including where to go to surround yourself with your target audience, incentives to offer, what to bring, and more 
  • Learn to approach people to make them most likely to help out (or better yet, design a system to get them to come to you)
  • Practice writing questions designed for short interactions
  • Conduct successful tests: tests that get you precisely data you need without sending people running, or running away yourself
  • Tally and analyze your results, combining team members' observations
  • Share your results quickly and effectively

This course is highly interactive. Bring to class something you'd like to get feedback on, or work on one of the case studies provided. From writing questions to approaching people to analyzing and sharing results, you'll get timely, specific feedback to make you better at getting the targeted data you need, fast. 


This course is one of six courses required for the UXMA Researcher Certification. This certification also includes mentor-coach hours and a performance assessment. 

More about the UXMA certification tracks
Schedule of upcoming courses
Certification details
Frequently asked questions