The next 3 tips for conducting remote research will help you avoid any errors in your test plan, saving you the time and hassle of having to re-do faulty research.
1. Have a Plan
Have an Intro Prepared & Brief the participants
Introduce who you are and the reason they are being interviewed. Help them understand that their identity or information will not be shared with any 3rd parties. It is also crucial to outline that there are no wrong or right answers when they are completing the survey, honest, candid feedback is them most effective method. If you are recording the session, make sure you make this clear and agreeable before they begin.
To help expedite the research process, it’s always beneficial to create templates to base your user research process from. These can range from user research intro outlines, questionnaire templates, follow up templates and data collection templates.
This can be the trickiest since it is the most effective to use actual users of the projected demographic. This way you can collect real data that is highly useful and not fake data that does not align with your actual user reach. A lot of online testing sites offer to recruit users for you such as usertesting.com or optimalworkshop.com at a fee. Otherwise you can recruit users by using craigslist, tap into your clients email database or use a 3rd party testing recruiting company. Testing superusers, fellow work mates or friends may not deem to the actual user and in the end hurt results since they may be biased or inaccurate.
2. Make the study easy to understand
Position questions in a simple way
Make sure your test participants understand what you’re asking them to do. This is important for measuring task success. If you are going to ask respondents to self-report on whether they successfully completed a task, it’s imperative that you define exactly what success looks like. This was they don’t have to wonder whether or not they completed the task successfully.
Don’t lead them on
The way you word the question can skew your test participant’s responses. Be careful to keep your questions neutral and non-biased.
Bad example: “How much do you love this app?”
Good example: On a scale of 1-5 (1=Strongly Recommend, 5=Not recommend at all), how likely are you to recommend this app?
Ask one question at a time
In general people are doing this in their spare time for a small incentive. Make it quick, effective, interesting and tailored to them to keep answers candid and engaged.
Prioritize questions at hand
Take a deep look at your questions, are they all necessary? Are you asking the same questions but in a different way? Do’t be afraid to cut content if it allows the user to engage quicker.
3. Test Before you Launch
Run a simple pilot study to check for errors
It’s always a good idea to test before launch to scan for inefficiencies. Send it to a couple workmates to get their eyes and opinions on it. If the question deems faulty once the study is launched, all relative data received will be flawed and disregarded.