The British Heart Foundation is a UK charity that aims to free the world from heart and circulatory diseases through research, cures and treatments. The BHF is a large organisation, with 750 storefronts, 3700 employees and helps tens of thousands of people and their families every year. Like any large organisation they have trouble with getting key staff exposure to their users.

User testing photo

The team at the BHF were redesigning their website. Every design project should start from the user needs. This one started with the best intentions. But when you are weeks of work deep and you are in the midst of the design process it’s hard to tear off the blinkers, take a step back and empathise with the users. They were struggling to connect with their users and their challenges. The team believed they were heading in the right direction. But understood they needed to confirm the direction and correct course


We were brought in to help them empathise with the users and validate the designs done so far. With our team of expert user testing practitioners and our Biometric technology, we set out to help them understand the users’ pain better.

The first step is to understand who the users are, we sourced candidates who would be representative of the wider user base. Who better to talk to than people who had been directly affected and understood the value of their service? We found people who had suffered from heart problems or immediate family members.

Two great examples were:.

User testing candidate Amy

Amy, 26,
Suffered from a cardiac arrest in the middle night while asleep.

User testing candidate Robert

Robert, 67,
Had multiple heart attacks and surgeries.

Once we have the stimulus, (websites or products) we will craft the tasks for the users. These have to be realistic, as close as possible to real-world tasks. Our aim is to build the correct behaviour pattern. We like to add a little scene-setting as well to guide the candidate into the right frame of mind. One example of the tasks we set was to ‘Imagine you or a close family member is feeling strange and suspect you might be having a heart attack. Please use the following page to find out the symptoms and understand what you should do next’.

With our Biometric testing setup we record as much data as possible, this is our example setup;

  • A facial recognition camera, run by an AI which processes emotion
  • A screen recorder to see how they interact with the website
  • An eye-tracking device to see where the user is looking on the screen
  • A biometric sensor placed on the fingers to understand how much stress the user is under, called a Galvanic Skin Response sensor
  • Another biometric sensor to check heart rate

These data points were then put on a screen in an observation room with our team and the BHF team. The team in the observation room can see the candidates and their actions in real time. After the main tasks, we set aside some time for an exit interview. This contains prepared questions and gives the observation team a chance to ask any other questions.

User testing GSR sensor

The results from the research day were incorporated swiftly, with the client saying ‘findings from the sessions have already been implemented to improve the designs.’

One of the benefits of Biometrics is the ability to pick up otherwise undetectable issues. The team found that with eye-tracking they could see that users didn’t notice the side menu that would help with navigation.

It was our privilege to talk to Amy, Robert, and the many others who had been through significant challenges. And then to help the BHF understand how their product could better serve the users.

User testing candidate Amy
User testing screenshot
Photo of audience watching user testing session 2
User testing session audience


At Eclipse we’ve got an incredibly talented, multi-award winning bunch of people ready to help you and your business. Reach out and talk to us there’s not much that can’t be solved with a few cups of tea, some bright people and a whiteboard.

    Your name (required)

    Email (required)

    Phone number (required)

    Company name

    Estimated Monthly Optimisation Budget

    Your message