They’re the stuff of movies, TV shows, and usability labs. One-way mirrors (or two-way mirrors depending on who you ask) are an enduring symbol of interrogation, psychology experiments, focus groups, and usability tests. This special piece of glass is brightly lit from one side to allow people to inconspicuously observe people on the other side.
“We want to conduct a focus group to improve our software.” It’s something I hear a couple times a month, and almost always when I’m speaking with a product manager, marketer or someone unfamiliar with usability. It’s so common that we UX professionals have wryly come to call it the “F-word,” a phrase I first