Avoid diminutive terms when talking about tasks
When giving instructions to usability test participants:
"I will give you some simple tasks that you can do with this software"
"I will give you some basic tasks with this product"
"I will give you some tasks that the users of this product usually do"
I get it. You would like to put your participant at ease. You wanna tell them that this is nothing like a test at school that is made intentionally difficult. There will be simple/basic/easy tasks.
This sets the right expectations, but it backfires the minute the participants experience their first struggle. They will think they must be really stupid if they can't even perform a simple/basic/easy task.
That is the reason I prefer avoiding any diminutive terms when talking about tasks. I will not say that the tasks are easy, but I will express that they are nothing out of the ordinary. I say: "I am giving you tasks that the users of this product usually do."
Does this resonate with you? Do you have a different perspective? Let me know in the discussion below.