What Is a Remote Unmoderated Usability Test?

At a Glance

A remote unmoderated usability test is when participants complete pre-determined activities using a design or interface. The participant 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.


In a remote unmoderated usability test, the participant 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 participant in real-time. The researcher may include follow-up questions as part of the test, or they may follow-up with the participant 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 panelists on the same day!
  • Test with larger sample sizes. Since a moderator doesn’t need to be present during each session, it’s often feasible to include more participants.

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
  • And more…

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