Designers are always looking for new ways to innovate and create better products by opening up their process. Adapting research methodologies during this pandemic has been critical for product and design teams, with a shift to remote UX research gaining a lot of attention.
Remote research is changing the game allowing for the design of more diverse and inclusive user experiences.
Being able to connect with a participant via video link or a phone call allows people from different backgrounds including those who may have mental or physical disabilities to be more readily included. It also provides a global reach allowing people from different regions and cultures to participate. This access to a wider audience allows a greater understanding of the user experience, resulting in richer research data which in turn leads to a more well rounded, inclusive design solution.
Making a participant feel comfortable is crucial to successful research. Some people however can feel overwhelmed when faced with eye to eye contact or clam up when in an unfamiliar environment or being interviewed in person. Engaging with people remotely through a video call or over the phone can act as a buffer between a participant and a researcher putting people at ease.
This virtual environment allows a participant to share their thoughts and experiences without feeling like they are being observed. Participants are able to participate in the comfort of their own home in a safe and familiar environment which is conducive to a free flowing, candid conversation.
Conducting research remotely also saves time and money on logistics, and depending on your recruitment tool and method it can be done with as little as a day's notice. This is a simplified cheaper option that avoids having to book interview rooms, travel to multiple locations or ask participants to attend specific locations.