Definition - What does Remote Usability Testing mean?
Remote usability testing is a type of testing wherein designers and engineers do research on a user interface by testing it on end users. In this type of testing, planners or testers use remote access technology to test interfaces on users "in their natural environments."
On one hand, remote usability testing offers various benefits. It helps to deal with browser- or operating system-related questions, or other issues about changing the natural access that end users have. It requires less resources in many cases because testers do not have to set up users in a laboratory or otherwise collect participants. On the other hand, remote usability testing has its drawbacks, one of which is security — in cases where sensitive information may be compromised, testers may have to set up a secure virtual private network or use other technologies to make sure that proper security is in place.
Along with security protocols, the testing community has actually come up with some detailed standards for remote usability testing, including timelines (e.g., 15 to 30 minutes), complexity (e.g., three to five tasks) and the need to have clear, transparent presentation models. Remote usability testing allows researchers to get a unique window into the natural ways that end users are interacting with their technologies in order to improve the user friendliness and efficiency of interface design.