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6736Re: Remote Usability Testing

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  • Andrew Maier
    Jan 18, 2010
      Hey Tara,

      I don't have much experience in the way of user testing in general, but I'm also interested in the answer to this question.

      Before the agile development projects I've worked on, I've conducted research to solidify what mental models users groups of our website have and where inside of those our solution will live. That's just done by asking clients about their target audience, doing competitive analysis, etc, and then conducting non-directed user interviews.

      However, during the application development process, I've looked into (but haven't tried) interviewing users on every other iteration, so as to test new features/functionality throughout the development process. I'd be interested to hear from anyone who has done bi-weekly (twice a month) remote usability tests on products being developed; how they handled that and how valuable it was.

      Andrew Maier
      UX Booth, Editor in Chief

      --- In agile-usability@yahoogroups.com, "schntar" <tschnaible@...> wrote:
      > Happy New Year!
      > I recently heard of a book (to be published in 2010) that deals with remote usability testing:
      > http://rosenfeldmedia.com/books/remote-research/
      > I am especially curious if anyone knows of studies that highlight the tangible differences in usability test findings between remote usability tests and lab tests (maybe something from SURL, etc?).
      > I work in an environment where most of my testers are long-distance and 95% of my testing occurs through phone/web conf./skype/etc. We gather a lot of good data with these methods (and I have rarely seen wildly different usability results come out in-person tests vs. remote tests). However this seems to be an area of testing that doesn't have much literature/discussion - and I wonder if it's turf that's already been covered (and possibly rejected)? Maybe this is a revolution that would put too many testing labs out of business (hah)?
      > Have others had good/bad experiences with this form of testing - and might this also be an effective way to handle the sort of lightweight testing that could be incorporated into Agile projects? I've worked with this very idea a bit (with some mixed results) but it involves adding Agile iterations on to handle post-Dev. issue fixing. (inefficient, but it works for those in projects that don't do mock-ups or mock-up testing)
      > I would love to hear your remote-testing experiences!
      > Tara Schnaible
      > Usability Analyst
      > The Nature Conservancy
      > tschnaible@...
      > "If you know a thing only qualitatively, you know it no more than vaguely. If you know it quantitatively -- grasping some numerical measure that distinguishes it from an infinite number of other possibilities -- you are beginning to know it deeply. You comprehend some of its beauty and you gain access to its power and the understanding it provides." -- Carl Sagan
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