She is working at Stanfy where she helps clients create meaningful and engaging user experiences for their customers. Wait for the response. There’s always a way.”. Anna loves to visualize ideas, and sketching serves her as the great tool for connecting her mind and creativity. Tips for delighting and retaining clients, Pricing and payments tips for your business, Everything you need to push creative boundaries, Success stories of those who build on Shopify, Your guide to Liquid and theme development, Tips and tricks for building Shopify Apps, Your guide to the world of affiliate marketing, 12 Ways to Get the Most Out of Remote User Research During and Beyond COVID-19, rely on surveys if you really know what you’re doing, Task Modeling User Needs for Ecommerce Design, famous for eschewing any visual context at all, 3 Strategies for Collecting User Feedback Onsite. For that purpose, Zoltan recommends Hotjar, which provides you with heatmaps and screen recordings to give you some context: you can see what exactly users do on the page before and after clicking the link. Instead, you use online tools and services to collect information automatically. Run instant video user interviews with people using your website. You can unsubscribe anytime. User research expert Cyd Harrell acknowledges that it’s fairly easy to set up for a remote interview since most people are familiar with videoconferencing by now (otherwise you can help them get set up, of course). We all want to create products that make people’s lives easier and more enjoyable, products that delight people around us and ourselves. “Try an easy drag-and-drop interaction within a given framework that anyone could do online. If you’re working with an audience across the globe, all under budget and time constraints, remote user testing can provide the rich data to help make informed decisions. For moderated user research, he suggests the following tips: In the end, instead of trying to hide the messiness of life in your user research, Behzod encourages user researchers to embrace it. It’s our ethical responsibility to prioritize their wellbeing.”. She is driven to create products that improve people’s day to day life. For example, remote user research enables you to observe participants (and immerse yourself) in their natural environment and culture. Remote user research has two key advantages over traditional testing: There are a lots of reasons you might want to conduct an in-person study instead. In this article I would like to discuss methods and tools for effective remote UX research, as well as how to make sure your research findings are put to good use. Article No :1563 | January 4, 2016 | by Anna Iurchenko. One of the tips he gives is to change the conversation from “Help me” to “Could this help you?”. This feature is very useful when you want to test a mobile app launched in an emulator. The limitation on in-person activities has pushed many user researchers to consider how they can continue their research remotely and presents an opportunity for user research teams to (re)design their research processes […] By practicing these skills over time you’ll get better and better, and become an excellent remote facilitator. Keep it short. If you’re carrying out remote research via video conferencing tools, it’s always a good idea to set expectations before the interview. Advantages of Remote User Research A More Diverse Pool of Participants. This gives participants moments of self-reflection, and enables them to play an active part in your investigation. It is very important to understand the usage context of an interface—the physical environment where people are using a product. He also co-founded the international web conference Generate, and is particularly passionate about user experience, inclusive design, and advocating for social good. In general, tests should be about 15–30 minutes long made up of about 3-5 tasks. Remote research can be divided into two categories: moderated and unmoderated research. “A participant shares stories and experiences in whatever way we have enabled them to articulate them—usually with an activity-based protocol.”. Therefore, service designer and researcher Yanna Vogiazou often introduces exercises to get a deeper understanding of participants’ needs and motivations. For the remote studies at Stanfy, we usually use the following tools: GoToMeeting lets you view your participants’ screen, and allows your participants to see and even control your screen. We have a company-specific account, which can also be used as a desktop app using a QR code to keep work and personal lives separate. All of those beautiful notes mean nothing if there is no space to punctuate them and give them shape. I already mentioned this tool before in relation to un-moderated web studies, but it works great for mobile studies as well. Creating great experiences starts with understanding your users, their behavior and goals. These reflections on remote user research were first presented in the online event “Transitioning to remote user research”, organised by the Service Design Network (SDN — UK Chapter). “You ask a question, the words hang in the air, and the other person responds,” she explains. “For example, we can use social media platforms to study people’s unprompted questions and opinions about our client’s products and competitors.”. Then, discuss them. Instead, show an interest in their plans, their desktop or workspace background, (“Cute kids!”), and their experience. “It’s not a work meeting over Zoom, it’s not catching up with friends over Facetime. Automated analysis includes task completion rate, time on task, first click, click stream, most frequent success and fail points. 3. You can watch users complete the tasks you specify (including gestures), and listen to them speak their minds as they interact with your app. Keep up with her on, Nate Bolt’s amazing book “Remote Research.”. “A survey, for example, can bring you qualitative and quantitative insights just by using open and closed questions. Do you have any tips for conducting remote user research? 387 User Researcher jobs available in Remote on Indeed.com. There are several different tools that can be used for remote research. There are many tools that you could use for remote team collaboration. If they express that something has been really hard, feel free—in fact, I really encourage you—to empathize. UserTesting. Often this research is carried out in person, but COVID-19 has changed the way many of us will be conducting research for the foreseeable future. You can capture their screen as well as audio and video reactions. Anna loves to visualize ideas, and sketching serves her as the great tool for connecting her mind and creativity. “Passive data collection allows us to analyze how people recount their experiences without the influence of a researcher,” Alba explains. It records the screen of your app, along with the face and voice of the user, as well as all their taps and touches. Approximating contextual research and ethnography (which observes people in their natural environment over the course of a few weeks) is slightly more challenging, though, as you’ll want to see more than a floating head or a shared screen. One of the great things about remote research is that people can participate on their … As an international digital transformation practice with experience in designing and delivering national programmes for both Australian and UK Governments, Informed Solutions’ team of user researchers are well versed in executing remote research including; user interviews and moderated and unmoderated usability testing, with teams on both sides of the world connecting and engaging with people in remote locations and different time zones. First, it allows us access to non-local populations. “We need to de-identify any posts and establish processes for accessing and sharing this data within our organization.”. “Hate awkward silences? While watching the videos, the goal for the team is to capture insights and ideas about what the user is saying and doing. Apply to User Experience Researcher and more! Lookback.io is a mobile user-research platform, allowing UI/ UX designers and mobile professionals to perform remote user research, communicate with participants in real time, perform self- test research on user’s end with pre-defined goals and set up in-person app tests. The tools in this table are the ones we regularly use in TeaCup Lab for Remote User Research projects. The same goes for human conversations—if everyone is talking all of the time, nothing meaningful can come through.”. There are no exact right or wrong answers, but it pays to be a little experimental, especially if you or your organization is new to remote research. When you need to do a lab study, use reliable equipment, keep the interface 100% secure, and monitor the user’s physical movements when you can’t use screen sharing tools. User Research Techniques and Tools It is key to dedicate some time to try the tools for each technique. “In music, we call this the sound and silence relationship. There are several similarities between planning a standard or a remote user study, as you’ll need to establish: Next, I would like to focus on “Who” and “How” steps and discuss what is different when you plan and manage a remote study. Be clear and concise with your writing. Combine these methods with shipping paper or physical prototypes to your users if you’re researching something that isn’t digital—it takes a little advanced planning, but it’s doable. With “remote” user research—or simply “remote research”—researcher and participant “interact” (e.g., communicate, exchange responses, conduct activities, hold sessions) via a (usually digital) channel or modality. Put plainly: there’s something “between” a researcher and their participant, and some way to moderate exchange. For global research, gotoresearch tried a pricey platform that was cumbersome, expensive, and difficult to set up a few years ago. Choose a research method based on what you want to find out. Google Hangout —you can observe either their screen or face. “Identify the parts of remote interviewing that make your skin crawl and practice them mindfully in all of your conversations until you have made real improvements,” she suggests. For example, remote user research enables you to observe participants (and immerse yourself) in their natural environment and culture. Time-awareness means that users are interested in what they’re doing because they’re doing it for their own reasons, not because you’re asking them to. Tell us what you think about Google products and features by participating in our user research studies. Get your free copy of Grow Volume 3: Building a Profitable Web Design Business sent to your inbox. —Chauncey Wilson … That’s absolutely okay. “A home can be wrought with distractions, from family members—big and small, furry and not-so-furry, loud and quiet—to food preparation that needs attention, or ambient noise from exterior surroundings,” she explains. Where do users go to perform the task and where do they expect to go? So begin your session by calling attention to anything that might be especially awkward for either of you.”. On purpose. Ethnio is a customizable screener that can be placed as a pop-up on your site or accessed through a direct link to an Ethnio URL. The team should be there during the interviews, usability tests, and debriefing sessions, so they can observe users with their own eyes. Expect things to go a little wrong and prepare alternative questions or activities. At CIVIC, conducting remote research is just one of our many methods to gather user insights we have been using for years. We have conducted most of our research remotely for several reasons. Travelling to meet user research participants or inviting them to your office may no longer be an option. Convenience for participants. Behzod Sirjani, founder of independent research practice Yet Another Studio agrees that in the present situation many of us are in—at home—environmental factors play a critical role in shaping how we want to and can use products. Shape the future of Google. An effective strategy for live recruiting is to use a popup form that will open the recruiting screener, which users can fill out to opt-in to your study. In the article, he shares several email templates that you can use for recruiting people for your own studies. Things are currently very different and challenging—for you, your team, your participants, and your clients. Ask a question and then close your mouth. Request a demo . It’s a chance to really consider the benefits of remote user research and embrace its constraints, including those that are specific to COVID-19. If that still doesn’t explain it, Zoltan suggests placing an in-app recruiting survey on the page, which will return a list of users who specifically visited the critical page and are willing to talk to you about their experiences. Steve suggests pointing out that you might not be making eye contact, for example. You have to practice it intentionally. There is no limit on video, which allows for more freedom when sending clips.”. “Remote facilitation just comprises another set of skills to master,” Rachel argues. Join 515,000 designers, thinkers, and doers. Ethnio provides a 2-line JavaScript code, which you should place on the page where you want to intercept your users. How Much UX have You Put into Your UX Portfolio? Carry out distanced diary studies using an app like. Facebook or Craiglist ads work in some cases too. The goal of this step is to distill everyone’s notes into a common list of insights. You’ll get a token of our appreciation plus the chance to help build something you’ll love. “It’s likely that a remote user research session, however you understand that term, is going to be something different for your participant,” explains experienced user researcher Steve Portigal. Summarize findings together with your team. Maybe you can run extra sessions with different sorts of users, try hybrid or overlapping methods, or re-run studies to compare results. Remote research allows a large number of observers to record their thoughts and observations at their computers. (For more details on Time-aware research, I highly recommend Nate Bolt’s … In any remote setting, however, interruptions are a reality, especially at the moment when most people work from home. Creating great experiences starts with understanding your users, their behavior, motivations and goals. This way, you will easily be able to choose among them for each specific project or need and ensure you obtain the desired data and results. But however easy it seems, you should only rely on surveys if you really know what you’re doing,” Zoltan advises. It’s definitely worth a look. It’s also usually cheaper, faster, and gives you access to a larger pool of potential participants (as you aren’t geographically constrained). Often, you will also notice something in your quantitative reports (for example, a specific link is clicked way more than it should be) that makes you want to follow up with a qualitative study to find out why that’s happening. Remote User Research and UX Diary Studies help you better understand the context, needs and behaviors of your users. Yanna acknowledges that connecting to the people we interview and getting inspiring stories and insights is harder to achieve online. Unicorns.io. Sooner or later, all discussions start to happen between people who are in the same space, ignoring those who are outside. Let’s say yellow is for good and pink is for bad. “They help us tap into the underlying drivers of people’s behaviors. Running user research remotely also means saving time and money on travel and logistics. Join for free and access revenue share opportunities, developer preview environments, and educational resources. Alba also suggests analyzing discussion forums like Facebook Groups and Reddit, which can help us identify social trends in the types of questions and concerns people discuss. They have different pricing models but basically do the similar job – providing you with a shared canvas for online brainstorming and collaboration, which allows you to visually organize your ideas. It might take a little more effort to adapt and you might need to over-plan, but the tips covered in this article have shown how effective remote user research can be to understand your clients’ customers from a distance. In fact, this is an opportunity to improve our facilitation techniques for remote research and take advantage of its benefits. It can be tricky to get the level of depth and context needed to tell a real story when remote research is your only option. The video recordings show you the player’s screen during their playthrough and highlight their touches on the screen. Why? Apply to Researcher, Research Assistant, Research Analyst and more! Remote, unmoderated testing is a great way to get feedback from your users at scale – and at a lower cost than in-person testing. “Whether utilized as homework post-interview to follow up and dig deeper into a topic, or as an informal diary study with loose prompts, WhatsApp provides a cohesive communication method for text, voice, photos and video clips,” design ethnographer Kelly Goto, founder and CEO of gotoresearch, explains. Here’s the quick 6-step summary of a test setup: If you’re working with an audience scattered across the globe, all under budget and time constraints, remote user testing can provide the rich data to help make informed design decisions, and to understand how people interact and behave with the interface you’ve made. Make sure you give them space to collect their feelings before continuing—or the option to stop if it’s really too much. User research during a global pandemic. Unicorns allows you to conduct usability tests, showcase pre-release apps or upcoming features, and chat with the users live. For instance, we can connect with participants from different cultural backgrounds by probing the meaning of visual metaphors or sketches. How to run remote user research. The incentive amount you should offer to the participants depends heavily on whom you are looking to recruit. That way they know you’re still present and interested. Practice asking short questions.”. Instead, Rachel recommends the practice of embracing silence. Practice conversing with your eyes closed. “Then brainstorm ways people show similar things to each other in non-research contexts. How many people abandon the task, and where? On the other hand, there are plenty of people who are willing to donate their time for no incentive at all. Experiment and see what works for you—and for your participants. This is especially true for services with loyal users, who are quite often eager to participate in the study. Rachel also points out that your primary job as an interviewer is to create space for another person to tell you stories about themselves, and to paint you a picture of their experiences. With a broader pool of people, we can identify and recruit the ideal participants for each of our projects. We recently covered the importance of understanding your clients’ customers (or your own) through different user research methods. Steve therefore suggests beginning a remote session with video to greet each other, but then to keep it off for the conversational parts of the interview. “Bring that into your research purview, and make it part of the conversation. One really important aspect of a collaborative process during your research study is that if any member of your team is remote, then everyone should be remote. Formerly the editor of net magazine, he has been involved with the web design and development industry for more than a decade, and helps businesses across the world create content that connects with their customers. You can also discuss and share the videos inside your team. “We've recently used it for a global study focusing on health and well-being across 15 countries during COVID-19. User researcher and civic design consultant Cyd Harrell agrees that it’s important to make sure the participant is comfortable and feels cared for (which might include turning off cameras to preserve the participant’s bandwidth for screen sharing). But, at worst, it serves to establish the rapport and frame this session as a collaborative endeavor.”. Customer experience strategist Meena Kothandaraman, one half of human-centered research practice twig + fish, stresses the importance of maintaining a level of human connection, regardless of when remote studies are carried out. You might also like: 3 Strategies for Collecting User Feedback Onsite. Are you a babbler? Their advice will help you carry out better remote research sessions to get the answers you need, and ensure your participants are comfortable, engaged, and safe all at the same time. The arrival of COVID-19 means moving very quickly to working in challenging and unfamiliar circumstances. "Remote Research is filled with sage advice, entertaining case studies, methods, and clear procedures that will benefit both new and experienced user researchers. “When combined wisely, remote tools are incredibly efficient for exploratory user research,” Zoltan concludes. “Terry Gross, the host of NPR’s talk show Fresh Air, for example, is famous for eschewing any visual context at all for her interviews,” Steve points out. In addition to the channels listed above, you can also use other channels to recruit someone for a study. ABSTRACT The rapid move to remote work due to COVID-19 social distancing policies has slowed or stopped most in-person qualitative user research activities. UX Diary Studies for remote User Research . Having developers, project managers, marketers and more observe and engage with the research can make them more invested in the outcome. Automated research is usually quantitative and good at addressing specific questions like: If all you need is performance data, and not the reasons users behave the way they do, then automated testing is for you. Remote usability testing allows you to conduct user research with participants in their natural environment by employing screen-sharing software or online remote usability vendor services. “When you do this, you give your research participant space to process and to speak with care. “Discussing interruptions—though they may be tangential to the learning objective—vocalizes the human reality of a home,” Meena encourages. In general, UX research seeks to understand how people interact with technology. Conducting interviews may be the highest priority on your list, but it’s … Design a set of tasks or write an interview guide. We now have the technology at our disposal to conduct meaningful remote user research, while keeping participants and ourselves safe. Write clear tasks. We’re all human—try out a few different methods to see what works for your project. PlaytestCloud. Since moderated studies provide lots of context and insight into exactly what users are doing and why, these methods are best for research projects that are looking for new ideas to come from observation. Yep—create them. They may bring up problems they have encountered with your product. Remote User Research Gather insights virtually through usability testing and other remote methods Collect insightful data about your users without leaving your desk. For screen recording, you can use tools such as the following: The first two solutions may be a bit pricey, but they will cover all your screen recording needs. Let us know in the comments below. Background. After several remote sessions, gather around a white board and ask everyone to put their Post-its on the wall. Uncomfortable having a meaningful conversation with a stranger without seeing their face? Anna Iurchenko is a UX Designer and Sketchnoter. Alternatively, you can place a link to your survey in some noticeable spot on your site. User Experience Research Screen reader friendly sign up form for Google user research studies Sign Up. Let the participant know that you’re going to be taking notes while they talk and that—even though you won’t look at them directly—you’ll be listening to them and watching what they’re doing. This includes secondary research (or desk research), which draws on pre-existing studies like academic papers and publicly available reports, and passive forms of research for the many cases when we really do need to collect original data. Murally currently is our favorite space for such collaborative work. Through remote user research! “Although people opt into using these social media platforms, they did not opt into our studies,” Alba cautions. Lookback for Android records everything on screen, including any native app, mobile website or prototype. Write any specific implementation ideas on green post-it notes. Loop11. How long does it take for users to find a product? Instead, look for remote research methods which will meet the objectives of the research. Reproduction of this content outside UX Magazine is prohibited except as guided by standards of fair use. “Fortunately, most participants already have it downloaded so onboarding is frictionless. Ensure the participant is not compelled to share an apology for their home or their circumstance.”. “We often extend our remote sessions to accommodate for these realities. “We should constantly ask ourselves if the value of our research justifies a participant’s time and effort,” she points out. (iOS blocks third-party apps from recording this data). Users are recruited by UserTesting.com from a preselected panel. Remote research allows you to instantly recruit people who are right in the middle of performing the task you’re interested in, in a process called Time-Aware Research. Ethnio also works to find participants in real-time from mobile apps. People are doing what’s best for them right now, which might mean last minute changes, higher dropout rates, and sessions that get interrupted or cut short. Live recruiting is typically your best option if you have an existing site or an app. Note: the guide won't be delivered to role-based emails, like info@, developer@, etc. Get design inspiration, development tips, and practical takeaways delivered straight to your inbox. A browser bar prompts users to perform a task. For example, if you are testing doctors or lawyers, you will most likely need to hike up the amount. Often, that makes it more likely that the findings will be applied. The current situation doesn’t mean you’re restricted to learning about your client’s audience from analytics and surveys. Freelance Researcher - Remote. And don’t assume that expensive tools … Write important insights (good and bad) learned from the user on the different Post-it notes. What is the most common path users take through the interface to complete a task? From running one-on-one interviews or usability testing sessions to hosting workshops with multiple users, there are many benefits to conducting these sessions remotely. Invisionapp. The first is that facilitation of any kind is a learned skill. Once data is grouped together, work with the team to try and find trends, patterns, and themes that are relevant to the research question. Don’t stay silent while the participant navigates or talks; instead, encourage them by frequently saying things like, “Oh, I see”, “Right”, “I hear you”, or even just “Mm-hmm”. With the design team at Stanfy we tried Murally, Realtimeboard and Boardthing. Create your own solutions and send prompts and responses back and forth via text message (as almost everybody has access to SMS in 2020). You can conduct automated research to get feedback from a large number of participants on a specific set of tasks. Alba Villamil, an independent user experience researcher who specializes in the social sector, stresses the importance of ethics when deciding to carry out research. Rachel Price, senior information architect at Microsoft, recommends two easy facilitation techniques that cost nothing and require no special tools or equipment (that we cover as items four and five). Meena advises to remember that if you’re conducting sessions while participants are in their homes, it’s where they have permission to be themselves, and be enveloped by their environment. Practice makes perfect! Here are her dos and don'ts to get it right: Cyd points out that, in a remote user research session, you’re providing a space for someone to share a piece of their life with you, and you want that space to feel comfortable and welcoming. “Similarly, the psychotherapist's traditional couch serves to create intimacy specifically by avoiding looking at the other person.”. So while it may feel counterintuitive, audio may actually be preferable for making a connection with another person. “Unfortunately, you will not magically become a great remote facilitator just because it’s now your only option. UX research agency gotoresearch uses WhatsApp as a low-cost, casual-yet-trustworthy, secure and easy-to-integrate method of data collection during a study. She is driven to create products that improve people’s day to day life. User research, however, is more critical than ever: it helps us understand what has changed for your clients’ users and what impact COVID-19 has had on their behavior. In the screener form, I’ll typically ask the participants what screen sharing service is convenient for them. “So it’s not clear that you can simply explain away something about how the brain works. Including everyone might sound like a waste, but it’s very important. One of the steps towards creating a user … There is a great article by Charles Liu, design researcher from KISSmetrics, sharing his experiments with recruiting people via emails with a zero budget. For this article, we interviewed nine user research experts to find out how they’ve adapted to conducting rich research at a distance. Remote user research is simply a type of user experience (UX) research that’s conducted over the phone and Internet, instead of in person. Videos are downloadable and can be annotated with comments. Whitepaper with five remote user research methods you can do in-house right now to learn about your audience and make better decisions. It’s important to remember, however, that even if these posts are publicly available, we should still protect the privacy of the group’s members. You’ll start receiving free tips and resources soon. Oliver is an independent editor, content consultant, and founder of Pixel Pioneers. Invisionapp is great for quickly demonstrating concepts, collecting feedback in one place and making rapid iterations. There may be also extra consent considerations that need to be examined, which you should check with a legal advisor to be sure. It’s also usually cheaper, faster, and gives you access to a larger pool of potential participants (as you aren’t geographically constrained). It ensures that you have both rock solid data about your client’s users, and also know what they feel and think. Remote research allows you to instantly recruit people who are right in the middle of performing the task you’re interested in, in a process called Time-Aware Research. Browse 4+ Remote User Research Jobs in November 2020 at companies like Filestage, Kraken Digital Asset Exchange and Over working as a User Research , Full Stack Engineer - Cryptowatch or Product Designer. Create research roadmaps across complex product areas and collect and analyze user behavior through remote research studies, field visits, ethnography, surveys, benchmark studies, and user feedback Report job. When running a mobile study, there are two different tools I recommend. “More typically, you do user interviews—with free or cheap tools like Zoom, Google Meet, Facetime, and the likes—that uncover the emotions and motivations of your client’s users. With support from the Open Society Foundations, Pro Bono Net ’s Legal Empowerment and Technology Initiative seeks to advance the strategy and practice of technology-enabled legal empowerment efforts in the US. We’re currently seeing a lot of articles about “Zoom fatigue”, which argue that the slight glitching of video, and the expectations for posture and gaze, are not sustainable for our mental health. An alternative approach is to just send a push notification to the selected audience with a request to take part in the study. Or, we can ask people to select and organize items, based on what matters to them most, then share their reasoning with us if they are comfortable doing so.”. She is working at Stanfy where she helps clients create meaningful and engaging user experiences for their customers. Rachel recommends using the increased time you have with yourself and working from home, to practice the things that you find difficult, so that you can become a better facilitator. (For more details on Time-aware research, I highly recommend Nate Bolt’s amazing book “Remote Research.” It also has a lot of practical tips and templates that you can apply in your own remote study). The Bentley UXC is a global user experience consulting group based at Bentley University. Do users have difficulty performing the task? “These are not tied to a particular product or prototype, but rather function as conversation triggers,” she explains. At GDS, we used a remote-first version of our monthly user research workshop to think about how we could adapt as a community. Select the tool or service that best supports your research goals. It will take some trial and error to determine when exactly to show the popup and the right balance between session length and incentive. For mobile survey requests, you’ll need to place code from Android or iOS libraries into your app, then trigger an Ethnio screener based on actions you define in your app. Remote, Mobile User Research Is Now Possible Until the last few years, the biggest limitation of online-meeting tools was that they were capable of sharing only users’ computer screens. Make sure you do it all together—get the goals and questions from the team, then do the up-front work conducting a survey or getting participants to the interview. The lessons learned will help improve the projects you’re working on and boost your user research skills in the long run. Capturing contextual moments in almost real-time is easier than most researchers think.”. Remote user research is essentially just research that is conducted from a little farther away - which changes the location of the research from in-person to virtual. You might also like: Lean UX: A Guide for Remote Teams. Rachel highlights that when we are uncomfortable, which happens frequently in remote settings, we tend to “babble” and fill any silence, because being quiet seems bad.