User research can sometimes be boring, especially classic usability research where you have strictly defined use case scenarios that you’re going through over and over again. Spending a day with 10 or 20 different subjects going through the same scenario over and over can be pretty draining, making it hard to stay focused and engaged.
Eliminating known distractions ahead of time can often help make the usability testing process seem less draining and more productive. Taking moments early in each testing session to engage with subjects can make each subject’s session unique and more personalized, removing the feeling of repetition. And utilizing technology will help during those moments when feeling distracted—verbatim quotes are easily obtained after the fact as well as small aspects of each testing session that may have been missed in real time.