Best Practices For Remote Usability Testing



Jay Anthony

11 September 2020 8 min read

Best Practices For Remote Usability Testing

As UX experts, we all know how difficult it is to perform Usability Research. No matter how hard we try, there's still something left behind. This is not in the context of the report. However, it is more connected to ensuring that all participants access the platform and successfully complete the entire Usability Testing session. As a result, we often hire more participants than is appropriate. This is to ensure that the backup is still available.

Remote Usability Testing has emerged as a bonus for companies in all fields and sectors. Yes, with the evolution of the Remote Usability Testing, it is now easier to ensure that the requisite number of participants can be part of the test with full assurance. Because participants do not need to be physically present during the Remote Usability Testing session, it makes it viable for them to remain at their place and still be part of it. This lowers the chances of last-minute dropouts.

We are all experiencing a condition of pandemics. There are many areas of the world in a lockout. No one has ever experienced this kind of circumstance before. Businesses have been hindered on a wide scale. In reality, sadly, several companies have also had to shut down. Many organizations are not in a position to deal with this situation that has never been seen before. Organizations are implementing new tactics and business models 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 Testing.

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 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

 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

Best Practices for Remote Usability Testing

Recruit the right participants

To ensure that you get accurate results, it is very important to recruit the right participants. The aim of 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.

Keep 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.

Plan 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 Remote Usability Testing, it is very important to have a well-planned strategy to conduct the test to get the best results.

Test 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 behaviour 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 of details and make a note of the same.

Keep 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.

Test your test

Yes, it is very important for you to test your scrips and plans before putting them across to the participants. Especially during 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.

Thoroughly 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 it for multiple reasons. From cost savings to convenience, many businesses around the world are opting for remote usability testing.

Remote Usability Testing is also an important part of the design process and provides an efficient way for design teams and experts to gain full insight into customer perception and input to improve the overall product or service. Keep these best practices in mind before beginning the Remote Usability Testing to ensure the best results.

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Concluding message

A well-designed website for users with disabilities is a site that is more accessible to use for all types of users.

A well-designed digital business can easily explain the process of online buying and selling for users with disabilities and can add more value to the business.

Therefore, add some mint into the users’ cup of tea and provide an accessible zest to your digital assets by making it more compliant.

Feel free to get in touch with TECHVED Consulting!

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Jay Anthony

Marketing Head | TECHVED Consulting India Pvt. Ltd.

He led efforts to develop a fully integrated marketing communications plan and growing team. He is responsible for successful corporate re-brand and update of all branded assets.

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