Remote usability testing
Remote usability testing is a method of remote research that uses an insight platform to record the screen (and voice, depending on the software you choose) of test participants as they interact with your product or experience in their natural environment—at home, in their office, or a specific location.
Why consider remote usability testing
Traditional usability testing has been conducted in-lab, but remote usability testing allows you to test more participants quicker for a much lower cost. When done correctly, it can be a secret weapon for teams that iteratively test and implement customer feedback.
Every user research method has distinct advantages and disadvantages. Understanding the unique qualities and limitations of each approach will ensure that you’re getting the results you need to build better products and experiences for your customers.
Remote usability testing is an efficient way to capture real people completing real tasks. Here are some ideal situations in which to consider remote user testing and the key benefits:
- Test where your customers are: One major benefit of this type of research is that your test participants aren’t limited to a specific location. This allows you to get the most accurate representation of the user experience—out in the wild.
- Some research isn’t suitable for a lab: Some research just can’t be done in a lab. For example, if you’re trying to answer questions about how users interact with a product in a specific context—like a fitness app at the gym—then you’ll need to make sure your research happens in that location. We call that destination-based testing.
- Some experiences aren’t digital: There may also be times when you need to observe something other than a digital experience on a computer or mobile device. Tasks, like navigating a theme park or installing a home thermostat, are great practical applications of remote usability testing.
- It’s faster and more cost-efficient: Probably one of the greatest business benefits of remote usability testing is that it’s faster and more cost-efficient. Because you’re not burdened with the logistics of in-lab testing, the constraints of travel and scheduling are nonexistent. Moreover, by testing with insight platforms, you have access to a panel of test participants that allows you to bypass the hassle of recruiting.