How to Conduct User Research Remotely: 5 Innovative Methods
Nobody can nail it the first time when putting together a user interface, whether it’s on a mobile app or a website. Extensive research is needed to test UX quality and make sure your tools and features are easy to use and satisfy your users needs. Unfortunately, hiring a bunch of people to sit down in a room and share their experiences using your product might not be feasible.
Enter remote user research.
Can you do Remote User Research?
There are plenty of ways UX designers can remotely gather intel on how consumers use their products; there are quite a few remote user research tools out there. And many of these methods will give more valuable insights than an in-person focus group, as customers are actually using the product the way they would in their natural habitat.
If you’re wondering, “Can you do remote user research?” The short answer is yes — and here are just a few of the ways you can engage with your customers to improve your UX design.
1. Online Survey
There are a number of ways to deploy an online survey for remote user research, whether it’s via mobile app, web portal, or email. Because this takes a little bit of time for your users (and you need a big enough sample size), it’s important to either make these short and sweet – or even fun if possible – or incentivize your users with some kind of reward.
2. Behavioral Analytics
This is a great companion to online surveys since users aren’t always completely aware of how they use your products. A lot of user behavior is instinctual. Behavioral analytics can track how, how often, and when users are engaging with resources to get a quantitative understanding of what’s working and what isn’t.
3. Tree Testing
In the tree testing method, which is mainly for website and application UX research, users are given a text version of your website and asked to complete tasks to see how intuitive your navigation is.
4. Diary Study
This remote user research method is only for those users who are all-in for your company, either because they are partners or because you’ve offered some pretty great incentives. Over a long period of time, users keep a diary of how they use your resources and jot down any reactions they have. This gives you subjective data that can’t really be gathered through more automated methods, like analytics or a short survey.
5. A/B Testing
Having a couple of UX options in your testing can help you not only see what is or isn’t working, but also see what might work better. With a large enough sample size for your testing, you can see which version of an application or website performs better and why.
Bottom Line: You Need an Effective User Research Strategy
To do effective testing of how well your UX stacks up, you need a well thought out remote user research strategy. Who are your target customers? How do your products or services fill their needs? If you’re a B2B provider, who are the specific personas you need to get in front of?
With an experienced UX design company helping you ask the right questions, you’re much more likely to get the most useful answers. Get in touch with Big Human.