Remote usability testing allows you to conduct user research with participants in their natural environment by employing screen-sharing software or online remote usability vendor services. You will be amazed how powerful a quick test with remote users is at discovering where your design needs to go.
Task-completion rate, time on page, time on task and satisfaction can be measured, as well as useful comments and user satisfaction. Video of users commenting while running through scenarios and tasks will help you learn where you need the most improvement.
If you need quick feedback from lots of remote users on your website, mobile app or software product try remote user testing. By capturing feedback in the user’s natural environment, both quantitative and qualitative insights can be gained.
When Should You Consider Remote User Testing
There are certain conditions when it makes sense to consider remote usability testing. Some of those conditions include:
- Timelines might prevent in-person testing due to scheduling issues
- The target audience/participants are geographically dispersed making travel for them or the experimenters difficult
- The participants need to use a particular work machine due to software or security requirements
- The participants have accessibility issues which require that they use their own software or equipment
Benefits of Remote User Testing
There are many benefits to conducting remote user testing. Some of these benefits include:
- Eliminating both the need for a lab environment and the effect of a lab environment on participants
- Accommodating diverse groups of participants
- Generally is less expensive than a traditional in-person lab testing
- In the case of un-moderated testing, allows you to extend your test day, possibly allowing you access to a larger pool of participants
- It is an opportunity to administer the test to a larger group of people than you might be able to accommodate in a lab environment
In the Users Environment
Get users to test your software in their own native environment, and get real feedback from actual users performing tasks with your software.
Achieve Rapid Feedback
Set up tasks for users to gauge the usability of your software. With as little as 3-5 tasks, you will get rapid feedback that can fix 80% of your usability problems.
Receive quick feedback from actual users that can gauge their satisfaction with your design, as well as measure time-on-task and user completion rate.
There is no substitute for user feedback. You can avoid needless design iterations with remote user testing, which will inform design and fix key usability problems while reducing your development costs.
Written / Posted by: Michel Ann Sharritt, VP, Situated Research