Optimal Workshop

15 guides for remote UX research

We’re in uncharted waters. The COVID-19 virus continues to spread across the globe, with governments and communities putting lockdown measures in place and asking people and organizations to stay home in an attempt to “flatten the curve”.

With so many researchers, designers and UX professionals now at home and (hopefully) practicing social distancing, there’s no better time to A) Work on honing your skills as a practitioner and B) Run remote user research to learn more about the problems you’re trying to solve. To that end, we’ve put together this round-up blog of 15 pieces of remote user research and design content. That’s 5 pieces of content from us and 10 that we’ve sourced from the community.

Research shouldn’t stop now. In fact, with so many powerful remote tools available to us – not to mention the multitude of quantitative and qualitative methods we can execute over the internet – we can carry out more effective research now than ever before.

All the best from the team down here in Wellington, New Zealand. We hope you find this round-up useful in these quite surreal and uncertain times.

From the Optimal Workshop blog

Remote user research tips + guides

We’ve pulled together some of the best content from our blog on remote user research. If you don’t already, we recommend staying tuned to our blog for more great content on a whole range of UX topics. While times are a little uncertain right now, we typically publish new insights every week.

1. How to recruit for and run remote user testing

When it comes to running user research, teams can often be strapped for resources. A lack of time, people, budget or participants can make completing valuable research a challenge. But with remote user testing, you can conduct all of your tree testing, card sorting, first-click testing and usability testing online – giving you results quickly and easily.

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2. 5 reasons to consider unmoderated user testing

In-person user testing is an important part of any research project, helping you to see first-hand how your users interact with your prototypes and products – but what are you supposed to do when it’s not a viable option? Here, we’ll take a look at 5 reasons to consider this testing approach.

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3. Best practices for creating and launching remote user research studies

Use screener questions and post-study questions wisely, do a practice run and manage expectations about how long the study will be open for. These are just 3 of the great tips you’ll learn in Ashlea McKay’s guide on remote user research studies.

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4. How to run a remote-friendly co-design

Co-design is a powerful way to improve design processes. When your work environment allows people to work remotely, or other situations force the matter, we need to get creative if we want to find ways to include everyone.

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5. 5 things to tick off before launching a remote card sort

When you’re launching a remote card sort, there are a few things you need to tick off before you invite your participants. This article takes a look at some of the types of card sorting, then dives into some helpful tips to consider before you go ahead and launch a remote card sort study.

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From the UX community

We’ve scoured the UX community for the best remote user research and remote learning content and compiled it in a list for you here. Be sure to keep an eye on these blogs for more great content – we read them on a regular basis!

6. Helping from afar: Running customer support remotely

– from Intercom

Global customer support teams are used to working across different offices. But how do you shift from a regional team model to a fully remote one – one where team members work on their own? If you’re in the same boat as Intercom, here are some steps they’ve taken.

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7. 5 tips to ace your unmoderated user testing

– from Askable

Unmoderated user testing is quickly becoming one of the most useful research approaches for designers, UX researchers and marketers alike.

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8. The definitive megalist of the best design books, podcasts, movies, and more

– from Inside Design

“Today, more than ever, the world needs us to remain inspired and tactile to blaze forward a path to the future. And to guarantee that happens, we need to make sure the light of inspiration never goes out.”

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9. Remote work for design teams: InVision’s essential resources

– from Inside Design

“In light of the challenges many in our community face while trying to keep their organizations running during this pandemic, we’ve put together a collection of the most helpful, design-oriented content we’ve created at InVision.”

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10. 4 resources for remaining customer-centric when business as usual is a little unusual

– from UserTesting

“It’s during times like these that your customers, regardless of what business you’re in, are looking to you for the same (or better) customer service and experience they’ve come to expect. This means, while working from home may be different for you and your business, it shouldn’t change the level of excellence you’ve provided up to this point.” 

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11. Making the switch to collecting customer feedback remotely

– from UserTesting

To help those who are making or leading the shift to more remote approaches, UserTesting has created some best practices that may help as you get going.

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12. WFH 101: Stay Productive Wherever You Work

– from Adobe Blog

As working from home becomes a reality for more people around the world, productivity can be a challenge if you’re not used to working remotely.

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13. How to Run Remote User Research (Like a Boss!)

– from Mixed Methods

Lindsey Redinger shares her top tips on how to run remote research studies smoothly and efficiently.

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14. You’re grounded: time to level up your remote research

– from UX Collective

What happens when you can’t be “in the field”? When you can’t be at someone’s home, work, or school? When you can’t experience their life alongside them?

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15. The hidden benefits of building an insights repository

– from UX Collective

“My UX Research team and I couldn’t go a week without being asked if we had done research on a specific topic, or if we could quickly pull information on a certain user group. To answer these questions we’d sift through our list of reports, searching for ones that seemed relevant, and then dig through the raw data to find anything pertinent. Sometimes we’d conduct the primary research again with the sneaking suspicion that if we could just easily search through our old data we’d find something valuable. It was time to build an insights repository.”

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