How to Conduct a Remote User Study

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Article by Quinn Frankel

As User Experience specialists, our goal is to create products that make people’s lives more efficient and frictionless. In order to create those experiences, it is important to understand our users and their behavior, motivations, and goals. 

Remote user studies are ideal for getting insights from users who may be located anywhere in the world and may be inaccessible to in-person meetings. User studies allow access to a larger number of potential users, cut out travel time and costs, and significantly lowers the cost of the overall testing process.

Why Do a Remote Study?

The remote method allows you to connect with users from anywhere in the world. Remote user studies also allow for a great diversity of participants and are much more cost-effective than other studies. Finding online users is much easier and cheaper than finding a place to hold the testing and then looking for test users who live in your area. With remote user testing, you can start performing studies with just a video conference app and an internet connection. There are even online tools available that recruit your participants for you, which makes the remote study process even easier. 

Moderated vs. Automated Research 

Remote research can be divided into two categories: moderated and unmoderated research. 

In moderated research, a moderator speaks directly to the participants. This allows you to gather in-depth feedback from the users, and the researcher can make personal observations about how the participants react. 

Unlike moderated research, automated research does not involve any conversation between the researcher and the participants. Instead, you use online tools and services to collect information automatically. These tools allow the researcher to easily digest the information from their users.

How to Design a Remote User Study?

Before planning a user study you’ll need to establish a few things. Before starting, you need to plan what to ask and what needs to be tested. You’ll also need to carefully recruit people based on your goals for the study. You’ll need to decide if you want to study new or existing users. After you’ve done this, you’ll need to determine the best methods that’ll help you reach your goals. Once you’ve found your participants and conducted the study, you’ll need to summarize the findings and decide what changes need to be made to your product.

Need help setting up a user study? We can help! Reach out to us here to get started on setting up a user study.


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