Remote Usability TestTest despite physical distance.
In addition to on-site User Testing, technological innovation makes it possible to test digital products and services even when researchers and participants are physically separated. In this form of remote research, for example, the participant's screen, voice, and video can be recorded to determine verbal and nonverbal responses to the product/service being tested. Remote Usability Testing can save companies not only money, but also time, e.g. by not having to travel to the site, or set up and prepare a lab environment.
- To get enough feedback regarding a product or service and to discuss possible matches etc., enough participants (at least five) are needed. To ensure that enough people who agree to participate in the Remote Usability Test do so, it is more effective to contact several than too few. Be sure to describe in the email or contact what participants will be facing, what tools they will need, and approximately how long the session will last.
- What should they experience? What tasks should they complete with the help of the product/service? Is there a specific user journey according to which the participants are guided through the test? Keep the experience as realistic as possible.
- Remote Usability Testing can be moderated and unmoderated. While unmoderated tests save time, moderated tests are more personal and offer participants the chance to ask direct questions or receive support in case of technical difficulties or ambiguities. Regardless of which option is chosen, the software used for testing should greet the participant before the actual test begins.
- A predefined questionnaire guides the participants through the Usability Test. If no moderator is present, the questions should be provided in advance in an easy-to-understand manner. Ask open questions and encourage the participants to think aloud to be able to understand their thoughts. The moderator takes notes while listening attentively. Who wants to be on the safe side: invite a protocolist to the test, who will exclusively and solely take care of the written summary of the session and otherwise remain in the background.
- At the end of a session, when all questions have been asked, the participants should get the opportunity to express their opinion about the product or service or even the course of the test. This helps not only to optimize future tests but also to learn things they did not expect before. Don't forget to thank the participants and, if necessary, compensate them for their effort. If necessary, keep the option open to contact them again in case of queries or upcoming usability tests.
- Analyze the results after each session and at the end of Remote User Testing. The User Testing worksheet can help to structure the results.