Remote Usability Testing
Conduct Tests without Geographic and Practical Constraints
Remote Usability Testing is an online usability research method in which target users participate in tests from either their home computer or smartphone. Employing this method offers several advantages over in-studio testing, including the ability to access users in regional towns and cities, which can be difficult to achieve with in-studio testing, as well as enabling website owners to observe the tests and interviews in real-time.
To conduct online usability tests, we use video conferencing systems (such as Zoom). Combining their screen sharing functions for live observations together with a simultaneous user interview, we can identify and examine any real or potential website usability issues.
Japan-wide User Coverage
When testing is conducted in a studio, participating users are required to come to the venue. This often limits user coverage to those living and working in municipalities with a proximity to the studio. With remote testing, however, users participate from their own homes – this means that users nationwide can be targeted. This allows the testing of digital products and services in specific or numerous areas of Japan, and to test with users who have either transport or mobility constraints.
“Real” User Data
As participating users join online sessions from the privacy of their own homes, they can test the digital products and services on devices and browsers with which they are familiar. This allows the observation of user behaviors and experiences under conditions that resemble, as closely as possible, their normal usage. Data obtained under such usual circumstances is very valuable and can be said to be "real" user conditions.
Usability Experts Ensure Insightful, Quality Interviews
Our interviewers are UX/usability experts who conduct more than 100 interviews a year, both in our studio and online. Even when testing in an online environment, we conduct insightful interviews while accurately comprehending real-time user behavior.
Remote Observation for Product Owners
Our clients can observe the tests on their digital products remotely via a video conferencing system. Furthermore, between testing sessions, product owners can speak with our interviewers – thereby enjoying as much communication as being in our studio.
After listening to client business goals and challenges, we identify themes needing clarification in the test and then develop a tangible project plan.
One of the most important aspects of usability testing is the ability to recruit participants with attributes close to those of target users. We work with clients to define their target demographic segments and then design a screening questionnaire to ensure the right test participants are recruited.
For remote usability testing, we can recruit users from all over Japan.
To ensure smooth testing, we confirm participant internet connection and set-up the video conferencing system well in advance.
Tests are conducted by interviewers with expertise in usability. We provide clients with video recordings of each participant’s screen interactions during the test as well as corresponding interview audio content.
Based on test data, such as user behavior patterns and feedback, our analysts create reports containing explanations and insights from usability perspectives. When introducing issues, we capture the page and illustrate content issues in an easy-to-understand manner. Our reports also include improvement suggestions.
- Meeting to Discuss Project Objectives
- Grasping Current Circumstance, Selecting Target Content
- Test Planning
- Participant Recruiting
- Test Implementation
- Data Analysis, Report Writing
- (Optional) Debriefing Session
For more information on our services, timeframes and estimates, as well as examples of our work, please feel free to be in touch.
Mitsue-Links has been a partner of the UXalliance since 2007. The UXalliance is an international network encompassing over 250 usability professionals.
The Mitsue-Links UX Blog shares some of our insights and opinions about UX in Japan, experience design and cultural differences between user research in Japan and the world.
We wrote about UX design. This book introduces and explains techniques for designing user interfaces (UI) and interactions (interaction) for software products and services that satisfy users.
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