Availability and location
Usability labs can be found in the major cities like Copenhagen, Aarhus, Odense and Aalborg.
Expect respondents to be on time
Language and translation considerations
Danish is the county’s principal language. Local dialects are very pronounced, which makes it worth using a local moderator when performing user research in Southern, Northern or Western Jutland, or on the island of Bornholm.
Most Danes speak English and German, and understand Norwegian and Swedish dialects. In high school, French, Russian and Spanish languages are taught. This is fortunate for testing, as it is painless to recruit native Danes that are comfortable with test material being presented in one of these languages.
Testing design and protocols
Quantitative vs. qualitative
A general but indispensable point about testing in Denmark is that a qualitative approach to usability testing is generally employed – and may be more so in Denmark than in say Germany or the US.
While in other countries the moderator is separated from the respondent (for instance sitting in the observation room), the Danes often find it less awkward when the moderator sits next to, or in the same room as the respondent.
The test setup and procedure can be very informal and still provide the results needed for the project. The test parity – making sure that results are not skewed by individual respondents – is ensured by being equally informal with all respondents.
Think aloud vs retrospective
Danes are fairly comfortable with thinking aloud
The population of Denmark (5,4 million) is quite homogenous compared to other countries, with 90% being Danish-speaking Lutheran Danes. Additionally, there are not many differences between the residents of urban and non-urban areas.
The informal social conventions in Denmark yield honest respondents who are not afraid of speaking their mind about products or services – even though they are aware of the fact that the client may be watching and listening next door. Thinking aloud comes very naturally to most respondents. The moderator will often participate more in the dialogue and pose probing questions to encourage further elaboration on the respondents' statements, than when using the standard think-aloud protocol.
Holiday, seasonality, and timing considerations
The big surprise to some is how mild Danish winters are – given our location on 55 degree north latitude, we should have freezing cold winters like the neighboring Scandinavians in Norway and Sweden. In fact, it is usually even colder to the South in mainland Europe, but the seas and prevailing westerly winds keep it mild, grey and damp. Since Denmark has minimal days of snow each winter, user research is rarely affected by the weather.