How to remote user test

Great article breaking down ways to remotely user test.

When your user base consists of millions of people from pretty much every country, there are many things to consider while conducting user tests. User behaviors and mindsets change drastically from city to city and country to country. This creates problems if you conduct user tests the old fashioned way, aka in person. That’s why most of the usability tests that we do at JotForm are remote user tests. We find it very effective and receive great results from them.

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This is a collective know-how of over 3000 remote user test sessions, with most of them dedicated to our new and distinct form structure, JotForm Cards. During our R&D phase we have identified more than 280 usability issues and 110 improvement opportunities with the help of remote user test analysis alone. Want to know how and why? I’ll tell you.

What is remote user testing?

Remote user testing tools have been around for quite some time now. They’ve evolved with our products, adding more features to help us reach “the user” or to be more specific, “their users.” The way it works is by pooling a variety of people from different countries with for an incentive. The “users” are presented with a set of tasks that test and asked to complete them. The “users” go through with them and are recorded for further analysis.

If your software needs to appeal to a broad audience (or many diverse countries), you can’t just cut it with a single version, you have to constantly iterate and iterate and then some and then a little more, and then… with every version, you need to make sure that everything runs smoothly. Not just on your high end Macbook Pro, definitely not just on your fancy iPhone X, if you want to appeal to masses, your software needs to be “people safe” not just“lab safe.” It needs to work on a mediocre android phone, or on a lagging first generation iPad so that you can widen the probability of usage. To test your software with various devices, on various locations or countries, with various people with distinct set of features, remote user testing is the practical way to go.