Remote UX research has become more relevant in recent years. There are a number of different scenarios in which remote UX research can get around certain challenges. Here, we’ll explore a few of those scenarios.
Before we do, it’s worth mentioning that remote UX research can be both moderated and unmoderated. Both have useful functions depending on your UX research objectives.
Moderated UX research involves a researcher supervising session participants, while unmoderated UX research relies on participants independently completing predefined tasks.
So, when is remote UX research a good idea?
Remote UX Research: For Reaching Audiences Spread Across Different Geographies
To gather product and service insight from users and customers spread across different markets, remote UX research can become a powerful option.
For example, ecommerce websites that generate multinational traffic. Such websites need to test the effectiveness of propositions and copy messaging aimed at non-native English speakers in several countries.
In this context, moderated or unmoderated remote UX research can help. That’s how you can collect a broad scope of key insight. Without great expense and restrictions in the breadth of research participants.
Remote UX Research: For Time-Poor Audiences
We’re all busy folks, though some folks are busier than others. Audiences in intensely time-poor industries like healthcare, or those with management roles, might struggle to find the time of day for UX research interviews.
To bag their participation, incentives need to be high. Typically, UX research sessions would take place outside of working hours and over a long duration.
Remote UX research sessions for this audience type can provide participants with the ease and flexibility that will ensure their input is relaxed, voluntary and useful.
Ultimately, rushed, pressured or stressed interview participants won’t be in the right mindset to give clear and thorough UX research insight that carries forward your goals.
Remote UX Research: For Larger Sample Sizes
Using an online-surveys approach of remote UX research, you’ll be able to reach a much larger volume of participants compared with face-to-face and one-to-one sessions.
This is what’s known as a quantitative approach useful for, not only spotting trends and patterns, but also for adding to and complimenting other, more qualitative, UX research data you might have gathered through other methods.
Remote UX Research: For Putting Research Participants at Ease
It’s no secret that many of us grew very used to home comforts during the on-and-off restrictions of the pandemic. Many people got so used to operating from home, that you might find UX research participants will gladly volunteer for remote sessions in a setting they’re comfortable with.
In these cases, don’t insist on luring them out to your offices, and trust that they’ll give your research questions the time of day without having to be in an official, moderated environment.
Ultimately, UX research participants will give more considered, honest answers and insight when they’re allowed to participate in a setting they’re relaxed and comfortable with.
Remote UX Research: For Engaging Participants Visually
Imagine you’re testing a user experience or conversion workflow of your website, or maybe an app. In such cases, it may assist to compliment testing instructions with visual examples, rather than rely on participants’ logic and intuition.
The more visual you can make user testing and remote UX research, the more accurate the insight you’ll glean. It also means you need not be present to run a moderated session.
Going Beyond Remote UX Research
Whether remote or face-to-face, user research is an essential tool in your UX research armoury—an armoury made all the more robust by combining both qualitative and quantitative UX research datasets.
There are things you can do, however, to go beyond all that. The limitation of UX research is that real users often give subjective input. In other words, they might not know why they feel or respond in certain ways to websites and user experiences.
To go beyond user research and find objective insight, we can help you with our usability research which is based on a set of academic UX principles. Drop us an email and ask us about how our web audits can help you find deeper, objective UX insight.