By now UX researchers are familiar with the importance of understanding the usage context of an interface–the physical environment where people are normally using an interface. Remote research opens the door to conducting research that also happens at the moment in people’s real lives when they’re performing a task of interest. This is possible because of live recruiting (the subject of Chapter 3), a method which that allows you to instantly recruit people who are right in the middle of performing the task you’re interested in, using anything from the Web to text messages. Time-awareness in research makes all the difference in user motivation: it means that users are personally invested in what they’re doing, because they’re doing it for their own reasons, not because you’re directing them to; they would have done it whether or not they were in your study.

  • A moderated, remote testing method engaging a real person in real time, just as he or she is about to complete a task
  • In contrast to traditional usability testing where tasks are preselected by researchers, time-aware research happens “just in time” to observe a task of interest.
  • Live recruiting intercepts participants at the precise moment that they set out to complete a self-directed task, providing insight into how they accomplish goals.
  • Using screen-sharing software, this method enables the usability test to occur within the context of an individual’s native environment or “technological ecosystem.”
  • This is a more realistic process than lab testing, as participants can access information on websites, by email, or on their calendar.
  • Around 1.5% to 2% of visitors who see the screener will complete it; slightly more than 50% will agree to be contacted; of those, around 65% will be able to participate.

More Readings,

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