Web Usability Blog

User research continues in lockdown

Posted by Lucy Collins on Jun 24, 2020 2:37:00 PM
Lucy Collins

Your digital presence is more important than ever and we are pleased to be able to continue to serve our customers and all their UX requirements.

Throughout lockdown we have been running user research and usability testing to great effect.  Full days of client-observed usability testing have become totally virtual affairs. And feedback has been great so far!

"I just wanted to say how fantastically you and the team dealt with our situation, sometimes technology isn’t always on our side but yesterday ran very smoothly and we learnt so much from it." - Client User Researcher

Conducting remote usability testing

Remote testing is not a new thing and something we regularly do if testing with hard to reach individuals or across different countries.

Using screen sharing software and webcams, testers are able to test the website as if they were sat right next to you on both desktop and mobile devices. 

By facilitating these sessions as usual, we are still able to ask questions and probe at suitable moments to gain those high-quality insights.

Read more about the benefits of remote usability testing and how we are using technology to test on mobile devices remotely.

Observing live usability testing remotely

With video conferencing, we can live stream the testing straight into your homes.

As you would if observing testing in the proper research lab, you see the website being tested, a head and shoulders shot of the tester and hear the session audio.

Between sessions, there is the opportunity to catch up with the facilitator, feed back on the testing session and adapt the day to get the insights you need.

Observing research as it happens is still an incredibly important part of the usability testing process. Why?

  • It enables greater insight into user issues as you can both watch users’ behaviours and hear their attitudes
  • Observing testing ‘live’ (i.e. as it happens) can help bring the issues into sharp relief – it is impossible to deny there is an issue when you are watching it happen
  • It allows you to shape the testing to ensure you are getting the insights you need by making changes ‘on the hoof’

Discussing usability insights remotely

As important as watching the usability testing is taking the time as a team to discuss what we have just observed. This is because everyone who watched the testing can interpret what they have seen in a different way and come away with conflicting opinions on what the issues are.

By discussing the research and agreeing the issues, you are in the best position possible to decide what can be done about them.

While being in a room together and hashing things out in person may be the traditional way of doing this, video conferencing calls are an equally good approach.

If possible, keep webcams turned on. Often the problem with multi-way conference calls is not being able to anticipate when people are going to talk. With your videos on, this isn’t a problem and you can still spark a lively discussion that leaves you with plenty of work to get on with. All from the comfort of your own home!

Read more: How to move your customer journey exclusively online, Cost effective ways to get user feedback in lockdown

Topics: Views and News

Want to know more?

If you’d like to talk to someone about how you can optimise your digital media with user research and advice, please get in touch!

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