For any fellow remote mobile research nerds, this is huge news. The upcoming spec for WebRTC that allows peer-to-peer video and eventually screen-sharing is working on Android and iOS in development versions of FireFox. What this means is that in the near future apps like, ahem, ethnio, will be able to easily allow for webcam [...] Read more – ‘Holy Shit WebRTC Hits Mobile’.
Attempting to gather customer feedback remotely can be scary (Halloween is over, I know). Thankfully, there are many tools out there that make remote user experience research simple and less intimidating to both the company looking for feedback and the customers giving the feedback. These tools can be found on the Tools section of RemoteResear.ch. Today [...] Read more – ‘A Practical Guide: How to Interview and Observe Customers Remotely’.
We love the recent article, “UX: The New Brand Leaders” on JohnnyHolland by Andrew Heaton. It’s true that brands are more and more influenced by the experience users feel when using a product or service. The success of companies or products no longer are dependent solely on the direct outcomes of using a product or service. Not to say [...] Read more – ‘Brand = Experience’.
Michael Margolis, UX Research Partner at Google Ventures wrote a lovely article recently about a recent project he worked on. His goal was seemingly simple: interview users of a new product and gather interesting and detailed data. This was all to be done within a few days. His 3-step strategy was to first look at product reviews, and existing [...] Read more – ‘Rad… Rapid User Research: 400 responses, 10 interviews, 3 days, and $525’.
Turns out there are more and more ways to recruit research participants from Twitter, and when you @reply someone, there is a real art to making sure they don’t think you are a spammer and click through to your totally legit research link. Here is an image from my presentation at UX Week 2012 that [...] Read more – ‘The Anatomy of a Recruiting Tweet (for User Research)’.
The fine folks at UX Magazine have posted this article on combining in-person methods with remote research methods by Sabine Idler of our friends at Usabilla. Hello there our favorite topic! The summary of the article is that you get benefits to each method by combining, but I’d argue that the real benefits come from combining moderated [...] Read more – ‘Combining In-Person & Remote Research on UX Mag’.
The long-awaited remote recording of app interactions on iOS devices may be getting closer. A Y Combinator(?) company, delight.io (site’s down as of Apr 30th), released this video which shows a recording using their SDK. Now it’s important to explain what this means is that you have to build their SDK into your app to [...] Read more – ‘Woah! Remote Usability Recording on iOS Devices. With an SDK.’.
Our friend Diane Loviglio over at Mozilla posted this pretty helpful guide to how they test tablets over there. They offer up some cool variations on the hugging technique that MailChimp uses, so check out the full article over on Mozilla’s blog. Read more – ‘Tablet remote usability testing at Mozilla’.
There is a new app called Reflection that lets you easily mirror from a 4S or iPad 2+ to an OSX computer. That’s a big deal because 1) it’s gorgeous 2) it’s wireless, and 3) you can screen record. Using this in conjunction with GoToMeeting or Skype, as long as you have a participant with [...] Read more – ‘Mobile Remote Testing with Reflection’.
Thanks to everyone who is attending my workshop at the Information Architecture Summit in New Orleans. You’ll want to do two things as an attendee: 1. Download the binder with excercises 2. Reference the slides (below) if you like Read more – ‘IA Summit ’12 Workshop’.
The folks over at Normal Modes have posted this handy quick summary of, well, you guessed it. Six benefits of remote usability testing. Here’s the quick list and click on through to the article for the details: Ease of recruiting & convenience for participants Geographic diversity in participants Lower no-show rate Lower overall costs All [...] Read more – ‘Six Benefits of Remote Usability Testing’.
And here we have it – the basic state of remote research on mobile devices in 2011. That state is pointing webcams at cell phones – and it totally works. The cool part about this delightful post by Jenn Downs at Mailchimp is that they have users hug their laptop, which is a clever and [...] Read more – ‘Remote Mobile Usability by Mailchimp’.
We’re excited to hear that Usabilla is working on automated feedback from a Live webpage. This would make them the first to cross both “automated static” and “automatic live” types of remote usability testing. So far the only evidence is this tweet from Paul Veugen, their CEO: “Excited to see the first functional prototype of [...] Read more – ‘Usabilla Adding Live Site Feedback’.
It’s becoming increasingly common to want to talk to users of technologies in other countries other than your own. Often times, this means communicating with people who are not native speakers of your language. This can be a very challenging aspect to a project, especially when it comes to recruiting, and it is something that [...] Read more – ‘A Native Language Approach’.
Video + Screen sharing is something we’ve been waiting for, in a way that only requires a browser to initiate, for YEARS. Looks like our friends at Citrix have done a spectacular job on this Beta of HD video webcam sharing along with GoToMeeting 5.0 we just tried out. Both for remote research and for remote [...] Read more – ‘Webcam + Screen Sharing in GTM 5 Beta’.
For the most part, there is no way to screen share from a stock iPhone, iPad, or Android phone for that matter. You would have to Jail Break an iPhone to get it to do screen sharing or screen recording, and for us lowly researchers, that is not typically a viable option. The same is [...] Read more – ‘iPad & iPhone Remote Research’.
There have been quite a few posts from our brothers and sisters around the globe about remote usability and remote research lately. There are even claims that remote usability is BOOMING. You head it there first. Here we are: 3 tools that will forever change the usability (Spanish Translated to English) Asynchronous remote usability testing: [...] Read more – ‘International Love’.
The is the second time in three years I’ve seen a type of remote research that had nothing to do with interface design, but is totally inspiring and teh awesome. Coincidentally they both had something to do with Harvard. The first was the “track your happiness” project, and this time it’s from a joint MIT [...] Read more – ‘Taking Your Pulse by Webcam’.
There are a couple new remote eye-tracking services that have popped up. One we have seen actually work and seems quite credible – GazeHawk, and another which we got spammed emailed about but doesn’t seem to be up and rolling yet - YouEye. Say what you will about the practice of assigning meaning to eyeball movement, [...] Read more – ‘Remote Eye Tracking Like Woah’.
Our fellow bay area local Brian McClain of Metric Lab has written a great summary of how to use un-moderated, AKA automated, AKA self-moderated, AKA UX tools, in combination with other methods and over long periods of time. Here is the whole article over at UX Matters. Read more – ‘Creative Ways to Use Unmoderated User Research’.
There is some kind of huge development craze going on in the remote / online usability tools market. My guess is that usertesting.com has inspired some of this, along with the perceived market for interface research. Here are the new tools that have launched within the last month or two. If we are missing any [...] Read more – ‘New Tools AVALANCHE’.
Come hang with us in San Francisco or attend remotely on May 6th from 9am – 4:30pm PST. We’re holding our third Escape The Lab workshop on remote UX research methods and tools. You get hands-on training with the latest moderated and un-moderated remote UX research tools. Space is limited as we’re only allowing 10 [...] Read more – ‘Workshop on Remote UX Research – May 6th’.
Cool write-up on heybaloo.com on two remote usability tools – usertesting.com and feedbackarmy.com. Excerpt: “Remote testing neatly sidesteps these issues: the tester is probably sitting in his own house, using the site at his own pace. He’s probably on his own, so he’s happy to chat away and let you know what he thinks and [...] Read more – ‘Why Remote Usability Testing Kicks Ass – by Heybaloo’.
There’s a guest post by Brynn Evans over on the Bolt | Peters Blog, on the topic of using remote research methods to inform social interaction design. What’s social interaction design, you ask?: Social interaction design (SxD) is the practice of designing for person-to-person interactions mediated by a computer interface, going beyond pure usability and [...] Read more – ‘Using Remote Research to Inform Social Interaction Design (SxD)’.
An excerpt from our 2010 book, Remote Research, published by Rosenfeld Media. The soul of remote research is that it lets you conduct what we call Time-Aware Research. By now UX researchers are familiar with the importance of understanding the usage context of an interface–the physical environment where people are normally using an interface. Remote research opens [...] Read more – ‘Time-Aware Research’.
A new article on 90 Percent of Everything discusses a few ways to screen out potential “fake users” who lie about their qualifications to participate in your study: In fact, a lot of liars can be screened out by writing a really good screener questionnaire. For example, here’s a decoy question that the Mozilla metrics [...] Read more – ‘Screening Out Liars From Your Usability Study’.
From UserCentered.net, an overview of moderated remote research, which they call “remote synchronous research”. ‘Remote user research and testing’ is where the user and the facilitator are in different places. Remote user research can fall into two categories, ‘synchronous’ and ‘asynchronous’. In synchronous protocols, a facilitator interacts with a participant who is remote and leads [...] Read more – ‘Oldie but Goodie’.
There are many ways to recruit participants for a remote research study from your website. (If you’re already confused, see this post for an introduction to live recruiting.) First and foremost, there’s our web app Ethnio, which is built specifically for the purpose. It uses a DHTML layer to display a pop-up recruiting form right [...] Read more – ‘Sample Recruiting Forms’.
The following is a list of software resources and web apps which can be used for various types of remote research, both moderated and unmoderated/automated. Moderated Tools UserVue by TechSmith. This is our trusty stand-by for moderated one-on-one interviews. Enables you to view a participant’s screen in real-time while talking to them on the phone. [...] Read more – ‘Remote Research Software and Web Apps’.
While there are plenty of tools floating around to help you conduct one-on-one moderated interviews, if you’re just getting started with remote research, you may not want to invest in a ton of expensive software or subscription-based web services right off the bat. So let us show you a few handy ways to use more [...] Read more – ‘Build Your Own (Cheap) Moderated Testing Setup’.
In an article for Boxes and Arrows, Paul Nuschke lists five phases of a usability study: Step 1: Sales & Kickoff Step 2: Recruitment Step 3: Preparation Step 4: Testing Step 5: Analysis & Reporting This post is about that second step, where you’re recruiting users to participate in your study. Traditionally this has been [...] Read more – ‘Live Recruiting for Remote Research’.
In general, remote user research simply describes any research where the moderator and the research participants are physically separated. However, there are lots of different varieties of remote user research, and each has its own strengths, weaknesses, and circumstances in which they’re most effective. Some types allow you to test many people at once, while [...] Read more – ‘The Two Basic Types of Remote Testing’.
Let’s start off by answering the question you probably came with. The short answer is: any kind of research where the user and research moderator aren’t interacting face-to-face. So why do you care? Well, take a look at how most research is currently done. When you want to learn about how people perceive and interact [...] Read more – ‘What is Remote Usability Research?’.
Rashmi Sinha and I created this graph of different UX research methods for User Experience Week in D.C. in 2006, and posted to remoteusability.com in 2007. This week, Christian Rohrers posted a similar yet more detailed graph of all user experience research methods on Alert Box. They are pretty similar, but I actually like his [...] Read more – ‘Choosing a Remote User Experience Research Tool’.