Table of contents
1. Restrictions on in-house UX tests and interviews
2. Remote usability testing as a safer alternative to in-house testing
3. The differences between remote usability testing and in-house testing
4. Remote testing types: The right UX test for every situation
5. Extraordinary times require extraordinary measures: Digitise your in-house testing now
Product managers and UX professionals can barely conduct in-house UX tests and interviews any longer. Those who, despite the risk of infection and against the advice of the authorities, still invite test users to the office often find themselves having difficulties during recruitment, including cancellations and no-shows. On top of that, an increasing number of companies are requesting their employees to work from home, where classic UX testing is barely feasible.
Currently, in-house UX testing means:
- High risk of infection
- Nearly impossible to conduct while working from home
- Test users are afraid to participate
- Goes against current recommendations to avoid social interactions
Remote UX tests take place without physical contact between test users and the people in charge of the test as the test user is using their own device at home.
In times of the coronavirus, this means:
- Zero infection risk: Remote testing is completely safe for both sides and therefore helps protect the healthcare system.
- Straightforward testing while working from home: Recruitment is done at the push of a button, tests are browser-based, and evaluation can be carried out collaboratively with the same tool.
- Minimal no-show rate: In the event that a test user doesn’t show up or there are technical difficulties, they can be replaced quickly.
- Minimisation of social interaction to help fight the virus.
Remote testing allows you to test the usability and UX of your products faster and more efficiently than in-house testing.
Switching to remote testing means:
- Not tied to any location: Test users can be recruited from all across the globe. Test leaders can also be located anywhere in the world—also while working from home—as long as they have internet access.
- Realistic conditions: Test users are located in their usual environment and can use their own devices; they act more naturally as a result.
- Honesty: Tests are subject to less social desirability bias since test users remain anonymous and are therefore more honest.
- No need for long-term planning: Tests can be conducted on shorter notice than in-house tests and are usually completed within just a few days.
The UX test takes place via audio conference and with screen sharing enabled. It will also be recorded for later evaluation. Up to three listeners can take part in the test; the test user will not be aware of it.
By assigning guest access, the videos can be evaluated together at a later date. A highlight video can then be created in no time, which can also be shared via a link—individual moments in the video as well.
This type of testing is suitable for UX tests (e.g. prototypes) as well as interviews. You can book a moderated RapidUsertest here.
4.2 Unmoderated remote UX testing: The asynchronous alternative
During unmoderated tests, the researchers and test users don’t communicate directly. The person in charge of the test creates a testing concept which the test users then use to test the website or app.
The test users speak their thoughts aloud as they complete their tasks. Both the test user’s voice as well as their screen are recorded during the test.
The resulting videos can then be evaluated and analysed to be used to make further optimisations to the website or app.
Unmoderated tests are therefore less time-consuming but are not suitable for all use cases. When it comes to prototype testing, for example, you should do moderated remote tests as outlined above.
The current situation is a rethink in private and professional life. Social interactions are being reduced at a minimum while remote work has become the new normal. Moderated and unmoderated user testing shows that the digitalisation of in-house testing isn’t particularly difficult and actually offers several advantages.