Sometimes questions are more important than answers

What is Guerrilla Usability Testing? (Short Answer)

Guerrilla usability testing is a quick and inexpensive way of testing a prototype or website with real users. Instead of recruiting a specific targeted audience to take part in sessions, participants are approached in public places and asked to take part in research. These sessions normally last for only 10-15 minutes with a small incentive of a coffee or cake offered.

Guerrilla user testing in a cafe

Our approach to usability testing

Tailored User Tests

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We focus on natural user behaviour & journeys.

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What is Guerrilla Usability Testing? – Long Answer

Guerrilla usability testing is an agile way of testing a prototype or website to get high-level feedback or identify potential UX issues, at various stages in the project life cycle. As there is no formal recruitment or need for expensive research facilities, this method is quick and easy to set up and can be conducted anywhere (this could be a coffee shop, library, park, etc). You would normally test between 6 -12 users, but this will vary depending on what and where you are testing. Just as you would in any lab-based usability test you should make the user aware of who you are and the purpose of the test. If you are going to record the sessions, you will also need to get consent for this.

Busy cafe

Advantages of Guerrilla Usability Testing

  • Quick turn around
  • Inexpensive compared to formal testing
  • Identify any UX barriers early in the process
  • This iterative testing works well in the agile project approach

Disadvantages of Guerrilla Usability Testing

  • You may not get the right target audience
  • Sessions are short so you will lose some of the insights that you would get from formal user testing
  • Might not be appropriate for all types of websites or apps


If you are looking to get some feedback on your prototype/website, then guerrilla usability tests is a low cost and quick way of doing it. This method will also allow you to conduct multiple usability tests during the course of a project to gain insights into where the barriers could be. However, if you do choose this method of testing you may not get the right target audience and with the sessions being much shorter than formal usability testing you may not get all of the insights you were hoping for.

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UX Consultant Matt Fisher

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