Best Practices For Remote Usability Testing

# RemoteUsabilityTesting

blog

Neha Modgil

Insight 1

Best Practices For Remote Usability Testing

 

As UX professionals, we all know how difficult conducting Usability Testings is. No matter how hard we try there is always something that is left behind. This is not in terms of the study. But, it is more related to making sure that all participants reach the site and successfully complete the entire Usability Testing session. Hence, we always recruit more participants than required. This is to ensure that back-up is always available.

 

Remote Usability Testing has emerged as a boon for businesses in all domains and sectors. Yes, with the evolution of Remote Usability Testing it is now easier to ensure that the required number of participants are able to be a part of the testing with complete assurance. Since participants do not need to be physically present during a Remote Usability Testing session it makes it viable for them to stay at their location and yet be a part of it. This decreases the possibilities of last-minute dropouts.

 

Remote Usability Testing is a boon during this pandemic

 

We are all witnessing a pandemic situation. Many parts of the world are in a lockdown. Nobody alive has ever witnessed this kind of situation before. Businesses have been hampered on a large scale. In fact, unfortunately, many businesses have had to shut down too. Many businesses are not able to cope up with this never seen before the situation. New strategies and business models are being made by organizations to keep them up and running.

 

We are in a situation where it is the safest to stay at home at all times. Maintaining social distancing and avoiding physical contact with people is advised. So Remote Usability Testing is the best solution for businesses who wish to carry out their research agendas and plans on schedule. It is a boon for businesses that wish to carry out their research activities without risking the lives of participants and moderators or observers. It is the safest research method available at present considering the situation we all are in.

 

What is Remote Usability Testing?

 

Remote Usability Testing is a way to understand how easy a website or application is to use. This is the same as Usability Testing. So what is the difference between Remote Usability Testing and Usability Testing? A Usability Testing is when the participants and the moderators are at one geographical location, under one roof, and the research is conducted. However, with Remote Usability Testing, the participants and moderators can be at different locations and still successfully complete the research process. Technology plays a huge part in conducting successful Remote Usability Testings.

 

Remote Usability Testing is flexible. It does not require participants and moderators to be physically present with each other at a venue. All you need is a good internet connection and a device connected to it to carry out a Remote Usability Testing. The process is very similar to normal Usability Testing. The only difference is that here, in the case of Remote Usability Testing, everybody does not need to be under the same roof.

 

5 Benefits of Remote Usability Testing

 

 

Generally, many businesses still follow the traditional Usability Testing method to get an understanding of their users. This is because they still feel that face to face testing is more accurate and has better results. However, businesses are now starting to realize the benefits of Remote Usability Testing. The results from this testing are accurate too if done in the right way. Below mentioned are the top 5 benefits of Remote Usability Testing.

 

1. Cost-effective

2. The flexibility of geographic location

3. Hassle-free process

4. Technologically advanced

5. Time-saving

 

Best Practices for Remote Usability Testing

 

 

lRecruit the right participants

To ensure that you get accurate results, it is very important to recruit the right participants. The aim of a Remote Usability Testing is to gather as much information from the participants and compile it in a report. The aim is to use all the gathered data and enhance the overall design process for a product or service. If you do not choose the right set of participants the results you gain may not be of much help.

 

lKeep the participants engaged

During Remote Usability Testing, the participants and moderators are in different locations. This means that the moderators have to ensure that they have the attention of the participants at all times. Lack of engagement can cause the participants to lose interest, which in turn has adverse effects on the entire testing session.

 

lPlan well

It is noticed that poor planning often results in poor data gathering. It is also agreed upon that Remote Usability Testing needs a full proof plan to succeed as it is done remotely. Since participants and moderators are not physically present under one roof during a Remote Usability Testing, it is very important to have a well-planned strategy to conduct the test to get the best results.

 

lTest one flow at a time

Very often we try to moderate multiple flows in one particular task. This should be avoided. It is advised to give participants one task and observe their behavior for one flow at a time. Combining too many flows in one task can be confusing for the participants too. On the other hand, this practice also ensures that moderators are able to observe every minute details and make a note of the same.

 

lKeep short test sessions

With Remote Usability Testing, we often tend to drag the session for longer than it is supposed to be. This is because it is not done in person so the limitations are less. However, if we have longer than usual sessions, it is very likely that the participants will get exhausted and drop off. The correlation between the length of the test and the success rate of completion is for real.

 

TIP: If you do have multiple elements that you want to test, split them into chunks and categories, and divide them into different usability sessions for best results.

 

 

lTest your test

Yes, it is very important for you to test your scrips and plans before putting it across to the participants. Especially during a Remote Usability Testing it is imperative for moderators to be well prepared and have a concrete session plan in place. You can conduct pilot testings with your colleagues or with people around you before actually conducting the research with your real participants.

 

lThoroughly analyze the results

After the Remote Usability Testing is successfully conducted, you need to analyze the results and compile it into a consolidated report. This report is of great value to businesses conducting Remote Usability Testings. Hence, it is very important to dig deep and get accurate and useful insights. Moderators and observers need to be very skilled to filter what is required and make the most of it.

 

In conclusion

Remote Usability Testing has become more and more popular and businesses are opting for this because of multiple reasons. From cost-saving to the convenience of venue, many companies across the world are opting for Remote Usability Testing.

 

Remote Usability Testing is indeed an integral part of the design process and offers an effective way for design teams and professionals to gain maximum insight into user perception and feedback to enhance the overall product or service. Keep these best practices in mind before starting your Remote Usability Testing to ensure the best results.

 

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Concluding message

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