Remote moderated studies
The UserTesting team helps you organize, launch, and facilitate your moderated studies.
In a remote moderated usability study, a moderator will provide target participants with tasks to complete or questions to answer while interacting with a design or interface. In addition to your moderator, a facilitator will also be on each call to troubleshoot technical issues and record the session for review at a later time.
The interaction between the moderator and participant is in real time, as they’ll be in the same virtual space and will be connected by remote conferencing tools.
The participant will be asked to think out loud as they work on the tasks. The moderator will observe the participant and is able to ask questions to gather more data or for clarification.
Remote moderated usability studies are helpful because they:
- Allow for unique, individualized follow-up questions in real time
- Ensure that participants don’t get stuck while doing something technically difficult
- Ensure that quiet participants are more vocal, as the moderator can prompt them to share what they’re thinking.
Moderated study process
Before your moderated session begins
Your UserTesting facilitator will manage the technical set up for you. They’ll launch all the recording equipment and set up the study. Your facilitator and the scheduled study participant will be on the line at least 10 minutes before the scheduled start time to ensure the best audio and video connection. Your facilitator will introduce you to the study participant and help you or the participant share the appropriate screen.
If you have colleagues watching the sessions you’re moderating, be sure to have them mute their microphone to ensure the best audio quality possible during the session.
What can I see during a moderated session?
You’ll have several options for moderated sessions:
- Share your screen and let the participant interact with mouse and keyboard control
- Participants can share their screen
- Use the chat feature to share prototype URLs
- Use moderated sessions for 1:1 phone or face-to-face interviews (using webcams).
How a moderated session ends
At the end of the moderated session, your facilitator will stop the recording, dismiss the participant, answer any questions you may have, and wrap up the session.
My Recruit moderated studies
You may bring your own participants to a My Recruit moderated study. This process enables you to recruit, schedule, and provide compensation to your own participants.
Because your participants aren’t part of the UserTesting panel, we’re legally prohibited from communicating with them outside of the moderated session. UserTesting can provide compensation recommendations. Should you elect not to moderate the sessions yourself, a researcher can be provided for an additional hours cost.
UserTesting will provide you with instructions on how your participants can setup and prepare for the moderated study. Once a session timeline is established, we have a three days lead-time to confirm your scheduled sessions.
A UserTesting facilitator will be on the call to help guide you and your participants through the session and be available for technical assistance, including any audio or video adjustments, as needed.
Our goal is that every session runs smoothly, however, technology doesn’t always cooperate. In the event of any technical issues, your facilitator is available to provide assistance. Here are a few situations your facilitator can help resolve:
- Video quality
- Audio quality
- Participant assistance (e.g. answering questions study participants may have).
Your facilitator will be muted in the background and will only interrupt your session to provide technical assistance, or if you directly request their help, either verbally or by using the chat functionality.
Please note: Webcam clarity and internet connection will vary between study participants. If you’re unable to get a clear connection, your facilitator will offer a replacement session (if feasible).
Using Zoom for moderated studies
UserTesting uses Zoom video conferencing to run all moderated sessions. However, if you’re prohibited from using Zoom, we can also use GoToMeeting.
Conferencing software such as WebEx, Click Meeting, and others are welcome, however they are not supported by the UserTesting platform. If a technical challenge occurs during your moderated session, UserTesting won’t be able to provide a backup recording, as we usually can through Zoom or GoToMeeting.*
*UserTesting does require a tech check to ensure that we can join the web conference, and that all sites or prototypes can be used on our web conference software.
- Visit www.zoom.us/join to enter the 9 or 10-digit meeting code for the meeting you’re about to join (Please note, you’ll be automatically entered into the web client and/or prompted to download the software client at this time)
- Once opened or downloaded, your web browser will prompt you to open Zoom
- Zoom will prompt you to enter your name. If you arrive early, you'll be put in a waiting room to await the arrival of the facilitator.
- Once a UserTesting facilitator starts the meeting, you can begin your audio setup.
- Please select the audio of your choice:
a. The Computer Audio option is recommended if you have a headset and microphone. Instructions and volume controls will appear once the Computer Audio option is selected.
b. The Phone Call is recommended if you are using a headset and microphone. Instructions on what number to dial will appear once the Phone Call option is selected.
Mobile moderated studies
Our Professional Services team is available to help with any technical considerations needed for moderating sessions with mobile devices. There are two options for using Zoom with mobile moderated sessions:
- Webcam: Enables you to observe the participant, including their voice and gestures, as they complete tasks on their mobile device.
- Sharing directly: This option simply shares the screen of the participant which provides a clear picture, however, gestures and taps aren’t captured in this view.
What does a moderated study look like?
You can find examples of moderated studies completed on various devices here.
Where can I view my completed session videos?
Your completed video will be available on your dashboard within one business day.
Contact us by reaching out to your dedicated Customer Success Manager, Project Manager, or Support (via this form).