Remote Usability Testing in Enterprise World
Remote usability testing has the distinct advantage of quickly getting users in short notice. For remote testing, users only need to do the testing in front of their own computers (albeit after setting up some required software). As such, individuals are more likely available to participate in testing since they only have to take an hour off of work (even on short notice) as opposed to half a day (which usually needs a much longer lead time). Beyond just speed of getting a user, the tester’s session is most likely to be run on their everyday computer with their settings tweaked to the way they like it so it reflects a more real scenario. There are plenty of remote user testing tools to choose from and the list seems to be growing every year (check out this list http://remoteresear.ch/tools/ ). These tools are great for business to consumer testing but what about business to business testing or internal user testing?
The enterprise world is less likely to use a consumer tool such as Usertesting.com or Validately partly because of access to a company’s internal database would require getting pass the firewall (which is not going to happen). There is also the inherent distrust of companies to allow other companies access to their internal data without some kind of NDA and legal review (if not more). So in short, its going to be a huge pain to use such a remote testing tool. So what to do?
For those in the enterprise world, I am willing to bet you have WebEx or GoToMeeting or some other remote conferencing tool. If you do, you have just find your solution. Tools like WebEx provides the ability to share a desktop, access the audio and visual of a webcam, and be able to record the session. A work around to introduce unmoderated task is maybe use the whiteboard/ notes feature in these tools or just email it in advance. Is it ideal and seamless…No. However, its cheap, available, and its low barrier for testers (since they all have at least used the teleconference software for their day job). I would love to hear anyone else finding a better solution for remote usability testing for the enterprise world?