Running Remote Moderated Usability Tests

Online usability tests

At this time remote moderated usability testing  gives researchers a fantastic opportunity to reach a diverse group of respondents and adopt a more flexible approach to user testing.

There are lots of different and very user friendly platforms that you can use to facilitate user testing. For example Zoom and Skype.

It is however also important to consider how to ensure that these sessions run smoothly.

Please find some tips below!

  • Expect and prepare for technical issues. Some sessions happen without a hitch but unfortunately things happen! It is better to adopt a relaxed attitude (it helps if you leave a good buffer in between sessions) and to  make sure that the respondent is aware that you know that sometimes there are glitches and you are there to guide them through any connectivity issues with Zoom, Skype etc.
  • Be prepared. Do a mock interview with a colleague or friend. Consider how a remote session differs from face to face testing and how you will have to adopt different strategies to share information with participants.  You may for example have to email or send a link to the consent form ahead of the session.
  • Are your respondents tech-savvy? For remote testing, it is advisable to recruit respondents who are confident using the internet. Remote testing may not be the best way to interview respondents with low digital literacy as they will struggle to understand how to use Skype, Zoom etc. They may also be more concerned about online security and may for example be unwilling to screen share with you.
  • When things go wrong.  It is always a good idea to ensure that you leave 30 minutes between sessions to ensure that if things go wrong you have enough time to resolve the issue and move forward. Perhaps if a respondents mic is not working you can use their mobile phone for audio and continue to screen share. Be prepared to adopt different strategies to salvage the situation and to make sure that you get some feedback  from the interview.
  • The recruitment agency is there to help at Recruitment for Research we get involved with helping respondents to prepare for online testing.  We always ask respondents to test the meeting links before the session and ensure that they are working etc. We are also well versed in helping respondents to download Skye and Zoom and we emphasise to them that we are here to help them if they run into any issues. This allows our clients to focus on interviewing our recruits and getting the feedback that they need.