Remote Usability Testing

Remote usability testing follows the same format as a usability evaluation with the only difference being that the moderator and participant are in different locations – hence the remote element. This method works best when the prototypes are presented on a desktop or laptop screen so that the moderator is able to see the prototype and the participants’ facial expressions.

Briefing the Project

The briefing process can be carried out face-to-face or by conference call and the key areas we need to understand and agree are:

  • Recruitment profile of participants
  • Key areas of concern, new functionality, product focus etc. for task design
  • Your objectives

Recruitment

A Recruitment screener is created to recruit participants against the target profile decided Participants are scheduled into research sessions and are provide with a monetary incentive to take part

Test Preparation

In discussion with the you our UX consultant will develop the test script that includes the tasks and scenarios that will guide the participants’ interaction, plus any questions you need answered by the research.
The research can be run almost anywhere – in meeting rooms, participants homes etc. We can stream the sessions across the internet so live viewing remotely is possible. We provide all the technology required to run the user research sessions

User Research Sessions

We have found it best to use Skype for remote user research because participants are most familiar with this technology. At times when we have been asked to use the client’s Webex system to save money, or so they can view the sessions, we have often lost lots of time, and some participants, simply due to technology and connection issues.

The usability test sessions can be moderated by one of our senior consultants. They will run through the test protocol as set out in the Research Plan with each participant and ensure that your objectives are met. Alternatively, participants can complete the session alone.
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Deliver Videos

The video of the sessions are taken from the screen sharing software or captured from the moderators laptop. In these videos, only the screen of the device is visible not the participants facial expressions

Analysis & Report

The deliverables from the research can include any of the following depending on the agreed scope of the project or requirement:

  • A verbal debrief
  • A high-level summary of findings
  • A detailed report with observations and recommendations

CASE STUDY:

A large UK domestic appliance manufacturer asked us to carry out prototype usability evaluations of their new website in the UK and the US. We ran the UK sessions face-to-face using a meeting room and the US sessions were run remotely using Skype. The moderator ran a skype session with the participant and allowed them to take control of the screen. The moderator could see the participants face, hear what they were saying and also see the screen they were using to complete the tasks.

In  almost every other aspect the projects run the same whether remote or face to face. The only other slight difference is that video of the sessions is taken from the screen sharing software or captured in lower definition from the moderators laptop.

Have a Project in Mind?