Hand sanitizer, masks, and social distancing… Oh my! Conducting user testing during the COVID-19 pandemic

January 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has made it difficult for in-person usability testing and introduced many new variables for researchers and their work collecting user data. While remote user testing has its perks and has become the new normal during this time, certain products require that in-person interaction to properly recreate a natural user experience. In this presentation, Chris and Zoe will walk through their process for setting up and performing usability testing in the era of COVID including how they formed their team, set up their testing space, and created a safe experience for the participants and themselves.


Zoe Pruitt

Zoe Pruitt is a human factors specialist at the MedStar Health National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare. In this role, Zoe investigates the interaction of humans and technology through applied research and usability testing. She participates as a human factors and usability expert in research that aims to predict human errors that lead to patient harm and design systems to mitigate these risks and improve patient safety. Her expertise in human factors is also leveraged for safety event reviews where she applies her understanding of human cognition to investigate why errors occur in healthcare. She received her bachelor’s in Brain & Cognitive Science at the University of Rochester and she earned her master’s in Human Factors and Applied Cognition at George Mason University.

Christopher Bonk, MSN, RN, CNL

Christopher Bonk is a research scientist and clinical human factors specialist within the MedStar Health National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare. Within this role, Chris works as a subject matter expert in hospital safety and nursing practice for a variety of projects and grants to increase patient safety both inside and outside of the hospital environment. His professional expertise is the integration of medical technology and the assessment of best practice for medical staff. He holds a Master of Science in human computer interaction from the University of Maryland, College Park and a Master of Science in nursing from the University of Maryland School of Nursing. He is also a registered nurse within the field of emergency medicine.


Thank you to Mediabarn for sponsoring this event and supporting UXPA DC! Mediabarn is a human-centered design practice specializing in creating research-informed solutions that truly make a difference. Learn more about them at https://mediabarninc.com/