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Chapter 7 Conducting a usability test > Providing help or customer support duri... - Pg. 223

Providing help or customer support during testing 223 For instance, do participants try harder when they know they are being observed? We know that participants want to please us, as we can see from the overly positive responses they give on post-task and post-test questionnaires. Not only do we know that participants like to please us, but we also know that they view the moderator as an authority figure who is in some ways "supervising" their work. When we observe participants struggling to complete a task, we often wonder if they would spend that much time on their own or if they are trying harder because they know they are being watched. Sometimes they will tell us that if they were doing this on their own, they would have quit the task rather than struggle to get it done. Other times, they may not share this information. A study comparing remote unmoderated testing with moderated lab testing confirmed that users being observed try harder. The Schulte-Mecklenbeck and Huber, 2003