Remote Usability Testing

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It is important to learn to be flexible in your work and to learn tools that will empower usability analysts to be more effective in their roles. Also, in an age of diminishing corporate spending and rapid prototyping and testing, remote usability can save companies a lot of time and money.

Transcript of Remote Usability Testing

  • 1. Remote Usability Testing December 5, 2009 Elizabeth Snowdon Usability Analyst, Sage Software [email_address]

2. About me Senior Usability Analyst at Sage Software Previously worked in usability at high-tech company Conducting usability studies since 2003 3. Principles of Scientific Management 4. Traditional Lab Testing 5.

  • Remote usability
  • Advantages / Disadvantages
  • Case study
  • Tools

What I will talk about today 6. What is Remote Testing?

  • Testing sessions in which you and participant are not physically in the same place but are communicating via electronic technology

7. Types of Remote Testing

  • One on one and real time
  • Shared technology
  • No moderator
  • Self-paced
  • Special tools record activities& feedback

8. Current Usability Testing Trends

  • Movement away from lab testing
  • Increased interest in testing in users environments
  • Agile development methods

9. Advantages

  • Lab not required

University of Leeds Human Perception and Performance: Usability Laboratory 10. Advantages

  • Expands sampling population
  • Ease of recruitment
  • Users in their own natural browsing environment
  • Share their desktop with you

11. Advantages

  • Save money
    • Travel
    • Equipment
    • Recruiting costs
    • Compensation

12. Disadvantages

  • Difficult to see participants screen
  • Cannot see participants
  • Problems downloading or installing desktop sharing
  • Task scenarios disseminated in advance
  • Participants interrupted or distracted

13. When not to use

  • When security is important
  • When reliable high speed internet connection is unavailable
  • For eye tracking studies
  • When it is important to attend to users physical movement

14. When to use

  • Recruiting valuable individuals
  • Minimal set-up
  • For lone wolf consultants
  • Rapid iterative development (Agile)

15. Recruiting Users 16. Case Study

  • Baseline study for Accpac
  • Three personas
    • clerks, controllers, operations
  • 24 participants
    • 20 remote
      • US, South Africa, Australia, UK, Canada
  • One moderator, one note taker, observers

17. Results

  • Accpac study completed in 4 weeks
  • Cost savings
    • Travel
    • Lab set-up
  • Time savings
    • Recruiting
    • Scheduling
    • Less overtime
  • Bottom line - $50,000 saved

18. Recruiting

  • Internal recruitment, customer lists, Craigslist, email
  • Interested parties must pass screener

19. Other issues to sort out

  • Obtaining informed consent and confidentiality agreement
  • What computing and communications equipment do candidates have?
  • Are they willing and able to download and run collaboration software?

20. Typical Set-up

  • Moderator / Note-taker
    • Screen sharing: WebEx
    • Recording: Morae
    • Speakerphone
  • Participant
    • High speed internet access
    • Speakerphone or headset telephone

21. Meeting room set-up 22. What can go wrong?

  • User forgets
    • Send reminder one day in advance
  • No shows
    • Provide your cell # and get participants cell and work #
  • User cannot download plug in
    • Send participant WebEx compatibility test check email in advance

23. What can go wrong?

  • User takes a long time to log onto WebEx
    • Add extra 10 minutes for WebEx set-up
    • Log onto session 15 minutes in advance
    • Get participant to log onto WebEx 10 minutes in advance
  • User brings along his co-worker
    • Explain 1to1 test
    • Reschedule secondary participant

24. What can go wrong?

  • Cant see what the user is doing
    • Ask user to point with mouse
  • Conversations
    • Mute your line

25. WebEx Limitations

  • Test! Test! Test! Dry run
  • Delays
    • Explain that there is a slight delay between what they are seeing and what you see
  • Cannot view hover overs
    • Verbally tell users what they are hovering over

26. Pre-test / Test checklist

  • Email scenarios
  • Set-up system or web site
  • Open up required documents
  • Dial into conference bridge or participant
  • Sign onto WebEx
  • Facilitator script
  • Start recording
  • Hand WebEx control to participant

27. Incentives

  • Challenging for international users
  • Email local Amazon gift certificates

28. Resources

  • IBM - Experience remote usability testing
  • www.ibm.com/developerworks/library/wa-rmusts1/
  • Remote Usabilityremoteusability.com/
  • User Experience magazineww.usabilityprofessionals.org/upa_publications/user_experience/past_issues/2008-3.html
  • Moderating Usability Tests: Principles and Practices for Interactingby Loring and Dumas
  • Usability Engineeringby Jakob Neilsen

29. Remote tools

  • Liz Bacon listinghttp://remoteusability.com/remote-testing-tools-round-up-by-liz-bacon/
  • Bolt Petershttp://remoteusability.com/tools/

30. Questions

  • Feel free to connect with me at[email_address]or
  • elizabethsnowdon.wordpress.com/