Step 1: Inform the users and check their ability to participate
As designers, we are stuck to our devices 24/7, making it easy to forget that not everyone is best friends with their computer. Therefore, it’s important to keep in mind that participants might not be comfortable with digital tools and calls at all. A big mistake is to assume that people are comfortable participating in a remote user test, or that they even know what to expect. Sometimes basic computer knowledge can be a hurdle. We’ve had to deal with a participant who hadn’t started up her computer for years, and didn’t know what a browser was. Literally.
So first of all, inform your participants that the test will be remote, and not just with a phone call. Check whether they are able to do an online interview:
- Does the user have a working computer with video, sound and internet connection?
- Does the user know how to use his/her computer?
Also, don’t forget to inform your participants about the software you will be using, and how it works. We always send our participants a manual on how to use Google Hangouts.