In part one of this two-part post, Brian Loeb from LeapVision showed how remote video helped with Ethnographies and In-depth interviews (IDIs), in this installment he highlights the benefits that remote video can bring to User Experience (UX) testing and Online/mobile communities.
Whereas ethnographies and IDIs are proper research methodologies, with UX we are looking at an objective more than a specific methodology. In fact, ethnographies and IDIs are both great methodologies with which to do UX research. I’ve included UX Testing as a stand-alone entry because remote video packs a really potent punch, mostly stemming from the relative ease of recording screens and cursor/finger movements, giving direct visual documentation of complex user experiences.
Many of the same benefits with Ethnographies and IDIs also apply when using video for remote UX research:
- Participants interact under natural conditions, and with the growing diversity of devices it has become essential that users interact via their own device.
- Unfamiliarity with a device can interfere with the UX insights on the experience you’re testing.
If you also record participants faces and surroundings, then you enjoy getting all sorts of contextual insights into how their natural environment influences their interactions with their device.
For automated, or asynchronous, moderation, all the advantages of time flexibility are also applicable, but even more important are:
- Advantages relating to place and situation flexibility – participants can capture behaviour in the heat of the moment, at the scene of the experience. For example, a mobile app for finding deals can easily be tested at the shopping mall or on the high street. Asynchronous thereby facilitates testing in real-life situations.
- Like with IDIs mobile video ensures greater consistency in moderation, and also addresses the tendency of some participants to elicit help or clues from a live moderator when attempting tasks, thereby skewing success rates upward.
Online/mobile communities refer more to a particular kind of platform for managing projects than methodologies, and they are great tools with which to manage ethnographies, IDIs and UX testing. Here the real questions are how much you want your participants sharing and interacting amongst themselves, or exactly how and when they share and interact. The answers will determine how much you want to really foster a live community versus using a platform to capture and manage participant responses made on individual bases.
While online/mobile communities are more typically linked to asynchronous moderation, they don’t have to be as many platforms allow real-time chat and video conversations, so live or hybrid live/asynchronous moderation is often an attractive option. In addition to the advantages I’ve already outlined, online/mobile communities with video have the following distinct advantages:
- Platforms allow researchers to post follow-up questions and probes that become specifically connected to the videos.
- Activating social aspects motivates your most social, creative and visual participants to get into competition mode, driving them to out-do other participants. This may lead them to exhibit behaviour that goes beyond the everyday and natural, and so is not ideal for every study, but if robust and creative results are what you are looking for then it’s worth encouraging a competitive and/or collaborative community.
As you can see there are many significant benefits that mobile video can add to your online market research projects and UX testing.
Brian is an expert global moderator from the Liveminds network.