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04 March
5 min read

How to run remote user testing sessions

Try these useful tips for remote user tests and level up your digital product!
by Elizabeth KukushevaMarketing Manager at Lucky Duck

Intro to user testing.

User testing is a great way to evaluate your digital product. Allowing your potential clients to try and test your prototype will give you some new perspectives.

It's well known that testing is a fundamental part of the design and development process. Companies execute user tests because it's beneficial to get instant feedback from real users.

Seeing the product through the eyes of your clients can help you detect issues and flaws, understand your users better, and make the changes your clients need, before introducing it to a larger audience.

'User testing sessions are a great source of information and a powerful tool.', says Sam Ducker - CEO of Lucky Duck. 'Make tests with users at any stage of the process. Start the tests as soon as you have a prototype', he adds.

Types.

Here are some of the most common types of user testing sessions.

  • Classic one-on-one moderated session. There is a moderator who presents the product and a user who tests it. The moderator introduces simple tasks and asks some leading questions. These sessions are often monitored by other people from the team or recorded.
  • Remote user tests. These are the user tests that we will stress on. They can be very helpful when executed properly. One of the advantages of this type of testing is that the logistics part is easier to manage. You don't have to worry about having a meeting room. Another benefit is that users often feel more relaxed when they test the product from the comfort of their homes and provide honest feedback.
  • Unmoderated user tests. The video and sound or mouse movements are recorded. The flaw of this type of testing is that some of the communication with the client is lost. You can't ask any additional questions. You see the actions of the user, but don't know the motivation behind them.

Step-by-step guide to running a remote user test media This 3-steps model will help you run a successful user testing session.

Preparation.

  • Preparation is the key.
  • Before the session write a list of 1-3 burning questions that are crucial to the success of your product. Treat the user test like a conversation, but make sure you get these questions answered throughout the session.
  • For the test, find people who would use your product in the real world because their feedback would be more valuable. In most cases, you will need 3 or 5 people from your target audience. Recruit them by using a website such as Testingtime. Another option is to find willing participants on social media.
  • Choose a moderator who knows your website or app well and possess exceptional social and communication skills.
  • Book the session with the user, suggest you use a tool such as Calendly. If you prefer, you could make a simple timetable in a notebook and contact each user directly.
  • Give yourself more time. Always schedule at least double the time you think you’ll need for the user experience itself. That way you won't rush with the introductions, you will be prepared for any technical problems, and will have time for explaining the next steps.
  • Write a list of minor questions or things your user might be thinking about during the process. Don’t feel the need to have every user answer these questions, but use it as a tool for you to create a dialogue and get additional insights from your user.
  • Create a typeform feedback survey (an alternative is Google Forms) to send to your user after the test. Collect it together with the moderator's notes at the end of the session.
  • Write down some simple instructions for your user tester on how to get set up with your product and how to jump on the video call. Explain the whole user testing process in advance.

The process of running the test.

  • Recording the session is of great importance. That will help you analyse the process afterwards.
  • Be kind and friendly. Thank the user for their time.
  • Explain that you are not the creator of this product (even if you are), and tell them the best way they can help you is by providing completely transparent and honest feedback on their perspective. You are testing the product, not the participant and there are no wrong answers.
  • Make sure you can see the user interacting with your product via screen share or video camera. Ask them to speak out loud - that will give you even more information.
  • It's just a conversation. Watch their reactions throughout, but at the same time have a natural conversation. Ask questions based around the lists you have made prior.
  • Take notes on what your user told you, and any reactions or problems they may have faced during their experience.
  • Send the follow-up survey.

Collecting the results and suggesting actions.

  • After the session ends, take time to review the recordings, your notes, and the user survey submissions.
  • Create a presentation going through each user test one-by-one and highlight the key insights, any specific details about the user persona (if running a varied test), and then link to the video recording, your notes, and the user feedback survey.
  • Book a meeting in with the stakeholder on your team who this user feedback is most relevant to. It could be the CEO, Product Manager, or Marketing Manager.
  • Create a list of suggested actions based on the user testing so you can solve any challenges your user discovered.

Useful tools. These are some of the tools we at Lucky Duck use when doing user tests.

Calendly We love that app because it's useful and super easy to use. The app helps you schedule sessions with just a few clicks. There is a Free plan and also Premium and Pro versions.

Google Meet is a business-oriented app for video conversations. The platform is easy to use and has a perfect design. You can buy Google Meet as a part of G Suite. The basic plan costs around £4 per month per user right now.

Whereby is a tool for video meetings in your browser. You can try it for free or upgrade to the Pro or Business plan.

Loom is a very powerful tool for user tests, but it can be used for a variety of other things too. Loom is a video recording tool, that gives you the option to record both your camera and desktop simultaneously. The app is Free for personal needs and paid for companies.

Figma is a great tool for prototyping and collaboration. You can test different designs using the app. There are Free, Professional, and Organisation plans.

We hope our insights and ideas were helpful to you. If you have further questions, give us a call or find us on social media.

User testing sessions are a powerful tool that can give you valuable feedback, insights, and ideas. Don't forget - test on different stages of the design and development process, and then test again.

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