How can users see what’s on the screen?
We use a variety of techniques when contacting users remotely. Most of these techniques allow us to share content with them even though we are not in the same location. For example, respondents in our online focus groups and remote usability tests can see screen shots of fully functional websites that we push toward them at the appropriate time during the discussion. Since much of what we test is meant to be viewed via a computer screen it’s perfectly natural for respondents to view and react to the information they see online.
Can I observe remote sessions?
We can accommodate observers in most remote user testing methods. Our online focus groups and remote usability tests can accommodate an unlimited number of anonymous observers. You can chat with each other or the moderator, from your desk or your living room, and the participants will not even realize you’re there. Of course, we also post the video sessions to a secure website, so that those who cannot leave their office can view the videos at their leisure.
Can I test in my own office?
We can create a portable usability lab environment in almost any location. We recommend going this route when it would significantly increase respondent participation, for example, situations in which your users are a highly specialized group who would otherwise not participate in a research study. We do not recommend creating a lab in your office if we feel that it would taint respondents to be falsely positive. We can recruit respondents to our location or your location.
PORTABLE USABILITY LAB
Sometimes the only way to reach respondents is to go to them, or to invite them to a place with which they are already familiar. That’s where the beauty of the portable usability lab comes in. While we do not recommend creating a lab in your office for your own convenience (especially if it may taint respondents to be falsely positive), conducting sessions on-site can have the advantage of encouraging respondent participation.
Sometimes study objectives require observing users in their natural environment. In addition, conducting research where users are increases their comfort level and participation. Mediabarn has created portable usability labs for clients needing to reach audiences such as schoolchildren, government employees, and professionals.