So you’re about to help us with user testing

Thank you so much for helping us with our user research! Observing and notetaking during user interviews and testing sessions is an amazing way for you to get a first-hand look at how others use our products and ideas, and your role as a notetaker is a huge help for the team. You don’t need to be a designer or product manager to get involved—all Sourcegraphers are welcome to participate!

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of time.


  • We use Lookback to conduct the sessions. Lookback requires Google Chrome (other Chromium browsers like Microsoft Edge are not supported), so please make sure you have Chrome installed and ready, and you’ve accepted the emailed invitation to join the Sourcegraph team on Lookback.

What to expect

  • You will receive a link to join a session as an observer ahead of time. You can join anytime before the session begins.
  • As an observer, you will not be on camera or audio, and the participant will not have any indication that you’re observing the session. The participant will only interact with the moderator.
  • While the session is underway, there are two things you can do: use the chat to talk with the moderator and other observers, and use the notetaking section to write down observations.
  • All of your notes will be timestamped at the moment you begin typing.

How to take really good notes

As an observer, you’re playing a critical role in making the session successful. The moderator is focused on running the session smoothly and asking questions and digging into answers. That means they can’t really take notes along the way. By helping by taking notes as an observer, we save so much time!

Here’s some tips for taking really good notes:

  • Focus on observations, like what you see and hear.

    • “They had trouble finding the button.”
    • “Looks confused.”
    • “Says they don’t understand the message.”
  • Avoid extrapolation or interpretation while taking notes.

    • Instead of noting “They didn’t like the message,” capture “Describes the message as irritating.”
    • Instead of “Blue doesn’t work for the button,” capture “Doesn’t notice the button.”
  • Indicate priority if it makes sense.

    • “Totally failed to find the link 🚨”
  • Nothing’s too small to capture! After the session, the team will draw insights out of the observations.

What happens after the session’s done

After the session is done (thank you!), a recording with all of the notes timestamped to the video will be saved on LookBack. The moderator will synthesize the results. Sometimes, we might also plan a debrief to discuss the session immediately after it’s done. We will always make sure you know exactly what to expect.