Keeping user research on track in response to COVID-19

Date: March, 2020
File under: Articles

Our first priority is the health and safety of our team, clients and research participants.


Otherwise, it’s business as usual.

In these uncertain times U1 would like to take this opportunity to let you all know that as far as our operations go, it’s business as usual within parameters permitted by the most current health advice.


Our first priority is the health and safety of our team, clients and research participants, but this does not necessarily translate to halting all moderated user/customer research activities. Across the industry, we have been pivoting towards use of web conferencing software tools like Zoom, Lookback, and WebEx which facilitate collaboration and interaction despite geographical separation. At U1, we have considerable experience conducting remotely moderated research and will make this our preferred approach for the time being.

Coincidentally, we spoke on this very topic at the Design Research 2020 conference recently and at the request of some clients we are developing some information around remote moderated research. If this is of interest please get in contact.

It is our experience that with the appropriate planning and forethought, remotely moderated research does not mean any compromise on the rigour or quality of approach or insights.

In fact there is some benefit to testing with users in their natural environment and using personal equipment they are familiar with to create the most authentic experience research possible.

Below outlines how we are managing current and upcoming research projects based on the best available latest advice from government and industry bodies such as the Australian Market and Social Research Society (AMSRS). Of course, given the fluidity of the current situation, we are constantly monitoring these sources and updating our approach and protocol as required.

Research planning

At this stage U1 recommends running remotely moderated sessions instead of face-to-face sessions. This requires no change to scheduling, lead times, or moderation guides and only minimal changes to setup. Each session will be video recorded with recordings available for download at the end of each day of sessions as per normal operations.


To facilitate an easy transition from face-to-face to remote sessions, our recruiters are actively managing the process by ensuring participants have required software installed ahead of any session.

As a business we are moving to 100% remotely moderated research with very little impact on our recruitment processes.

We have noticed a broadening of the pool of available participants, due to an increased number of people working from home and the ability to recruit Australia wide for user testing which may have previously been limited to participants based close to capital cities.

(Our international research and recruitment remains unchanged)

Contact us

If you would like some advice about planning and executing research in these challenging times, or how we can help you to meet your user research needs in the coming weeks and months, please don’t hesitate to reach out.


ph. 03 96843470

Back to articles
Share this

Get in touch

Find us at:

Level 24, 570 Bourke Street,
Melbourne VIC 3000
(03) 9684 3470


Online enquiry