Does the world really need yet another book about usability testing? We believe it does as there are no books available that are focused solely on the very exciting realm of remote usability testing. Hopefully, by the end of this book, we will have convinced you too.
Please take the time to read this preface because we want to ensure that you do not go into the book with expectations that we cannot fulfill. We promise to keep it short.
This book is about remote usability testing, nothing else. It is targeted at anyone interested in understanding why remote usability testing is becoming more ubiquitous in the UX portfolio and how best to plan, run, and wrap up this type of study.
Some housekeeping before we dive in:
- In this book, we use the terms usability test, usability study, and UX study in the broader sense of user testing, which comprises evaluating product acceptance, the perceived value of features and functionality, usefulness, and much more, and is thus not restricted to the pure evaluation of ease-of-use.
- We use the terms product, interface, and digital interface interchangeably throughout the book when referring to the product under testing.
- Throughout the book, we refer to the person executing the study as the UX researcher. The person triggering the study will be referred to as the study sponsor. We understand that the actual setup of a usability test with regard to the involved stakeholders may differ from reader to reader. The person running the study may be part of the UX team designing the product under testing or an external consultant contracted only to run the test; the study sponsor and the UX researcher may be one and the same person, and so on. We will stick to these terms and you can translate them into your specific context.
- The book is tool agnostic. There are many tools available that support remote usability testing, but we do not want to recommend any specific software considering how quickly new, updated products are made available. We also believe that UX researchers should use the tools they are most comfortable and familiar with in order to be able to focus completely on the study instead of the tool itself.
That's all! We've had a great time writing this book, and we hope you find it useful.
Inge and Rebecca
This book targets both User Experience (UX) professionals who are familiar with traditional in-person usability testing methodologies, and UX designers who have had no prior exposure to user research and usability testing. This book may also be of use to customer experience professionals, product managers, or frontend developers who are interested in understanding remote usability testing.
Chapter 1, Why Everyone Should Run Remote Usability Studies, explains why there are only very few situations in which a remote usability study would be ill-advised.
Chapter 2, What Not to Forget When Planning Your Study, describes how to plan a study, comprising all aspects that will influence its successful execution.
Chapter 3, How to Effectively Recruit the Right Participants, outlines how to determine whom to recruit, how to recruit and ensure that they are properly informed.
Chapter 5, Running a Remote Unmoderated Study with User Videos, describes how to successfully run a remote unmoderated study using user videos.
Chapter 6, Running a Remote Unmoderated Study with a Survey, describes how to successfully run a remote unmoderated study using surveys.
Chapter 7, Running a Remote Unmoderated Study with a Hybrid Approach, describes how to successfully run a remote unmoderated study using a hybrid approach of user videos and surveys. This chapter builds on the previous two chapters.
Chapter 8, What to Consider When Analyzing and Presenting the Study Results, gives guidelines on writing reports that will help the audience understand the study results and empathize with the users' experience.
Chapter 9, Thanks! And What Now?, talks about possible next steps once the study results have been evaluated and, optionally, documented.
The reader does not need to have any prior experience with usability testing but should be familiar with the concepts of user-centered design.
No software is needed for this book.
We provide a PDF file that has color images of the screenshots/diagrams used in this book. You can download it here: http://www.packtpub.com/sites/default/files/downloads/RemoteUsabilityTesting_ColorImages.pdf.
There are a number of text conventions used throughout this book.
Bold: Indicates a new term, an important word, or words that you see onscreen. For example, words in menus or dialog boxes appear in the text like this. Here is an example: "Select
System info from the
Feedback from our readers is always welcome.
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