I love Adam Babajee-Pycroft… Not only is his beard and surname enviable beyond measure, the man knows more about UX & User Testing than I do about the expanded Star Wars universe (and I possess a frightening amount of Star Wars knowledge).
If you don’t know Adam, he’s the Managing Director of Bristol UX Agency Natural Interaction, who's personally worked on projects with the likes of BMW, MINI, Jaguar, nPower, Adidas & Tuborg. The man is truly a titan of User Experience.
Now, I claim to be a bit of a UX bod, but Mr. Babajee-Pycroft’s titillating talk opened my eyes to a whole new world. I now know the ins and outs of Remote User Research; common mistakes, how to find the right participants and go-to tools that will make my life a whole lot easier - Adam covered it all! If you weren’t lucky enough to snag a ticket to Digital Gaggle and see Adam’s talk, here's a rundown of his top tips and tools.
Why Remote User Testing Is Awesome
If you’re sceptical about delving into the world of remote user testing, here’s some of Adam's points on why you should man up and take the plunge:
• It’s quicker to arrange remote user tests than it is to do it in a dedicated testing environment
• You can run multiple tests at the same time
• You don’t have to sit there during the tests!
• Remote user tests are self-moderated, you won’t waste any of your own valuable time in the process
• Participants are often cheaper to recruit as there are no travel costs.
• Removes your own temptation to intervene during tests and potentially manipulate results
• You can recruit participants from all around the globe with relative ease
Most importantly you can see how your users behave and interact in their natural habitats without any threat of confirmation bias or hesitance brought on by a formal testing environment.
Adam's Top Tools For Remote User Testing
There’s 101 platforms and services on offer to us marketers, but when it comes to UX tools, I haven’t got a clue where to start. Most of my UX experience comes in the form of the real world and hands on device testing, so Mr. B-P’s low down on the best tools for the job was unbelievably useful in pointing me in the right direction! Here’s a shortlist of Adam’s expert remote testing tools:
Quantitative Tools (and what they're most useful for)
A bumper batch of tools, perfect if you need feedback on a website’s design, nav or functionality etc.
- Optimal Workshop
- Card sorting
- Tree testing
- Click testing
- Click tests
- Card sorting
- Tree testing
When you want to get more in-depth and gather contextual information for your users, Adam outlined some nifty remote user research tools that help you perform some kick ass qualitative research. Your offerings include:
Price wise, the first 4 are the most affordable and the actual cost is determined by your negotiating skills. Userzoom is a bit more sophisticated and is targeted at larger organisations with a price tag to match.
Adam admitted himself that there was way too much for him to cover in the time allotted, but he was able to wrap things up with some tasty takeaways:
- Try remote user research at least once
- It’s a valuable opportunity to overcome preconceptions you might already have
- Use the same budgets to do more rounds of research
- Just because you’ve done some initial testing, don’t use it as an excuse to scrimp on subsequent sessions
- Ensure the instructions are easily understood
- Don’t leave things too ambiguous and assume participants know exactly what you want them to achieve
- Use the right tool for the job
- Do you need to conduct an interview? Survey? Qualitative research? Choose your weapon wisely
- Be rigorous in your analysis
- Hold yourself to a high standard, don’t make assumptions.
Feel a bit more confident when it comes to remote UX testing? I know I do!