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Remote Usability Testing

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Remote Usability Testing is much like lab-based usability testing, in that the goal is to watch a user interact with a website and learn how easy the site is to use, how appealing it is, and how helpful the content is to the end user. However, unlike lab-based testing, remote usability sessions are conducted between an eVOC moderator and a respondent in separate locations using online meeting software over the Internet. Conducting usability testing online versus in a lab-based setting is convenient when you need a geographically diverse group of participants or if you need to conduct the testing in a short period of time. It is also more cost-effective than lab-based usability because it eliminates the need to travel and rent a research facility.


eVOC Insights performs Remote Usability Testing with participants while they are in their own environment. Participants are invited to dial-in to a conference call number and access a screen share via online meeting software. Sessions are guided by an eVOC moderator over the phone; the technology allows the participants to take control of the stimuli using their own mouse while the moderator and client watch. Unlike lab-based testing, the moderator can receive live feedback from the client via email or chat during the session if specific areas need to be probed on. Users will think aloud during the remote usability testing so that we can understand their thought process while completing tasks online, and then the moderator will ask follow-up questions directly related to their experience.

Remote Usability Testing is most useful in situations where results are needed quickly or when geographic diversity is important to a project. There are additional benefits to Remote Usability Testing such as lower costs (lack of travel, no need to rent lab space from facility), more flexibility in interview scheduling, and ability for clients to dial-in from anywhere with an Internet connection. Recordings of all sessions include both the audio and behavioral data.

Some target populations work better than others for this method of testing. Participants must have access to an up-to-date computer with high speed internet access and a phone and they should be technologically proficient so as to be able to launch the necessary program on their computer. This makes this methodology particularly well-suited to B2B testing and testing with participants who are technologically savvy.

remote usability testing

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  • Flexible scheduling and easy rescheduling based on participant and client needs / last minute cancellations
  • Faster timelines and geographic distribution of participants
  • Lower costs and increased convenience for clients as facility and travel fees are not required
  • Ability for clients in a variety of geographies to listen / view each interview real-time, allowing for feedback between sessions
  • Availability of online recordings of both audio and web browsing, allowing for easy download


  • Do you need results fast?
  • Is your target market geographically diverse?
  • Would it be difficult to find a significant enough sample of participants meeting your criteria in a single geography making recruiting difficult?
  • Is your target participant technologically proficient?
  • Will he/she have access to a computer, high speed internet and phone at a scheduled time to complete the interview?


Through Remote Usability Testing, eVOC can deliver the same insights provided by lab-based usability testing. This methodology is best utilized when you are in the needs assessment or concept testing phases or during the site development process and / or prior to running a large-scale quantitative usability or benchmarking study.

Remote Usability Testing can provide key insights into a participant’s thoughts, interactions, and reactions to stimuli through the combination of qualitative and observational information collected. This data provides the basis for actionable recommendations for concept development or site improvements while uncovering low-hanging-fruit problems with user-interface design.

Remote testing will not provide the moderator or client with information about the participant’s physical response, such as facial expression or body language, which can be observed in the lab setting. However, this methodology will provide detailed qualitative and behavioral data and offers unique benefits, including potential costs-savings, ease of recruiting and smaller time investment due to the lack of travel, which can make it an ideal fit for many projects.