Combining online tools to enable rapid-turnaround BERTs


BERTs - Bipolar Emotional Response Tests - involve showing participants alternative designs along with a series of pairs of adjectives corresponding with opposite emotional states. For each pair of adjectives the user is asked to indicate the point on the line connecting them that most closely describes their feeling about what they are seeing.

I was commissioned to conduct BERTs on two alternative approaches to a new personalised digital brochure, to be generated on demand by retailers after showroom visits by customers.

The test is documented by plotting the average score for each pair and drawing lines connecting them. The effect is to create a distinctive emotional "signature" for each option which can be used to assess which one is closer to achieving the business goals.  

As was usually the case the timescale was tight and there was no time to organise in-person interviews to the requisite scale. I solved the problem by arranging a hybrid web-based test combining the strengths of SurveyMonkey and the remote usability testing app WhatUsersDo.

We used the recruitment function of WhatUsersDo, which provides videos of test participants carrying out tests in their own home. Each participant was asked to look at the concepts which were hosted on our server, and at the same time access a SurveyMonkey form which had been adapted to provide a version of the BERT grid using radio buttons. We ended having a large sample that indicated that the option on the right was slightly better received.