Last year, Hureo conducted 24% of its usability studies remotely — and this year, we’re expecting a dramatic increase in this percentage. In this article, we explore the advantages and impact of remote research, and why you should embrace it wholeheartedly.
As a user research agency, most of our work at Hureo revolves around studying people and technology. These studies are conducted in-person in the user’s context, or conducted remotely, depending on the goal of the study. However, the current coronavirus pandemic — bringing in its wake social distancing mandates and travel restrictions — has now made interactions difficult, and led many people to wonder if research is even feasible.
The above recurring question has inspired us to pen this article; because yes, while the coronavirus is creating a new normal for our world, it has not made qualitative research impossible — in fact, far from it.
At Hureo, we often use remote studies and usability testing to help clients get user insights and evaluate product ideas. Today, even as COVID-19 grips the world, we continue supporting our clients by adapting all our in-person studies to remote methodologies, involving in-depth interactions conducted virtually through the means of technology.
In the last year itself, 24% of our studies were conducted remotely, across Tier 1, 2 and 3 cities, with users from diverse backgrounds, technical abilities, languages, age groups, etc. More importantly, all these remote projects have generated high-impact insights, which helped companies build user-centric products.
Here, in brief, are a few examples of the remote studies that we worked on last year.
1. Remote product testing for an online educational platform
Goal: This client approached us wishing to test the usability of their product, and get a better understanding of parents’ behaviour when it came to helping their children with schoolwork and homework.
Methodology: Since we had to interview 35 users, across 7 cities, within the tight deadline of one week for this study, we decided to conduct remote usability studies wherever needed, along with in-person testing wherever possible.
Impact: The remote testing proved extremely successful — the insights gleaned from the study shed light on the behaviour and motivations of parents, allowing the product team to prioritize features for development. The end result was an overall improvement in the user experience of the product.
2. Understanding customers’ journey while using a tech product
Goal: More recently, one of our clients, whose product was an online platform, wished to understand their users’ journey in order to serve them better.
Methodology: To map the daily usage and product journey of the users, we conducted a 6-week diary study with 20 participants, remotely. To do this, we used existing communication apps that made the entire study easier and smoother. In fact, today, the widespread accessibility to digital tools and mobile technology has made it easy and efficient for us to conduct remote studies, not only in urban areas but in remote and rural regions too.
Impact: From the diary study, we generated user journey maps and a high-impact report, which highlighted the tech usage, execution, challenges and user motivations. This helped the client understand where the product offered values, as well as hidden user needs that weren’t being met — ultimately paving the way for more value-driven product ideas.
Staying engaged with stakeholders
During remote studies, staying engaged is an area of concern for clients. At Hureo, we believe in engaging clients in our research right from the beginning, through stakeholder meetings, research briefings, as well as during the actual study and data analysis. During remote studies, we provide live sessions so that stakeholders can listen to the users, helping them connect with their users as well as interact with them.
Today, as digital adoption is seeing a dramatic surge, we are continuing to help clients build products and learn from the market, the users; while iterating quickly to adapt to this fast-changing world. To learn more about our work, visit www.hureo.com or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.orgTogether, we can figure out how to make growth a certainty even amidst uncertainty.
This article is also available on Hureo Magazine on Medium.
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