What Is Usability Testing for Remote Moderated and Remote Unmoderated Tests?

At a Glance

Remote moderated usability testing sessions are when you collect feedback from another person during a live session with that individual. During the session, you can ask follow-up questions in real-time, based on each of the individual's answers. The Live Conversation feature enables scheduling remote moderated sessions.

A remote unmoderated usability test is when contributors complete pre-determined activities using a design or interface. The contributor decides when and where they would like to complete the test, and uses an online tool (such as UserTesting) to participate, provide feedback, and record the session.

 

What is a remote moderated usability test? 

Why are remote moderated usability tests helpful?

When should a remote moderated usability test be conducted? 

What is a remote unmoderated usability test? 

When should a remote unmoderated usability test be conducted?

What can be tested through a remote unmoderated usability test? 

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What is a remote moderated usability test?

A remote moderated usability test is when a moderator provides contributors with activities to complete using a design or interface. The interaction between the moderator and contributors is in real-time; they're in the same “virtual” space and connect using a remote conferencing tool such as Web conferencing, VoIP, phone, chat, or a combination of methods. UserTesting offers Live Conversation to conduct moderated testing.

The contributor thinks out loud as they work on tasks. The moderator observes the contributor and may ask questions for clarification or to gather more data.

Why are remote moderated usability tests helpful?

Remote moderated usability tests are great when you would like to:

  • Allow for unique, individualized follow-up questions in real time.
  • Ensure that contributors don’t get stuck while doing something technically difficult, like dealing with a complex or low-fidelity prototype.
  • Ensure quiet contributors are more vocal since the moderator can prompt them to share what they are thinking.
  • Observe body language and pick up on the subtleties of contributor behavior and feedback.

When should a remote moderated usability test be conducted?

Remote moderated usability tests can be done at any time, but they are particularly valuable when conducted in the early design and prototype stage.

What is a remote unmoderated usability test? 

In a remote unmoderated usability test, the contributor typically thinks out loud as they work on the tasks, and the researcher reviews the recorded sessions at a later time. The researcher doesn’t communicate with the contributor in real-time. The researcher may include follow-up questions as part of the test, or they may follow up with the contributor after viewing the session. Why are remote unmoderated usability tests helpful?

Remote unmoderated usability tests are great when you’d like to gather very quick feedback. Unless you are looking for every narrow demographics, a test is often completed by UserTesting contributors on the same day!

When should a remote unmoderated usability test be conducted?

Remote unmoderated usability tests can be conducted at any time, but they are particularly valuable when conducted in the early design and prototyping phases.

What can be tested through a remote unmoderated usability test?

  • A live website or app
  • A website or app prototype (as long as it’s hosted somewhere)
  • Real-world experiences, such as unboxing a product
  • Assets within a site or app, such as images, text passages (messaging), and calls-to-action (buttons and links)

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