Remote user testing is a methodology where you are able to set tasks to specific users to complete whilst both their screen is being recorded and their thoughts are captured as they speak out loud.
Whilst this is one of the more difficult methodologies to undertake due to it’s likelihood of biasness, it’s also one of the quickest, and best methods to obtain true insights. We set our users tasks to complete on our platform – be that buying a product or navigating to a page – and they will try to complete that task whilst talking about their journey, issues and potential improvements. It’s a great way to understand, not just what the user is thinking, but what the user does. As we’ve already identified – what the user says and what they do can, often, be two different things.
Remote user testing tools
There are plenty to choose from, but I generally use What Users Do as my platform of choice due to it’s price and features. Dependant on the audience, I will use TryMyUI for more international based audiences – although to admit this is rare.
I generally have some best practice tips and beliefs when configuring your remote user testing tasks. These being:
- One user is just one user. Whilst they should be heard, don’t take one user’s opinion verbatim. Consider their issue and decide yourself whether to address it. For the optimum confidence value, NN group recommend you test with 5 users.
- Your tasks can easily lead to biasness. As it’s remote, you cannot alter or retort to that user. Therefore your tasks should guide the user only, not lead them.
- Open ended questions are best. Don’t influence the answer in any way. Using phrases like “And how does this make you feel” as oppose to “Did this make you feel positive?” are preferred.
- Give the user context before beginning. Getting them into the mindset of your product, if they may not have used it before, is important as a precursor.
I’m unable to give examples due to confidentiality of my clients, however, the best insights from these tools can often be the ‘quick wins’. There are frequently issues that the user comes up against, known as ‘blocks’, that would never have occurred to someone such as me or you, so involved within the project. This could be as simple as a piece of wording that isn’t labelling efficiently enough for a user to understand. Or, in the case of one of my user testing experiences, a user not being able to find the ‘add to basket’ button that was clearly labelled on the page.
You may even often find browser nuances when users are testing – remember, they’re testing for you in a real life environment.
Get in touch
If you’d like to learn more about a structured UX approach I’m more than happy to discuss this with you and your requirements. I’m certain with my track record in using this approach I can facilitate in a proven methodology that will get the best out of your team and the most efficient user-centric solution for your client.