Remotely Moderated Research
Remotely moderated research is capable of delivering many, if not all, of the benefits and insights traditionally associated with in-person moderated research.
Whether that research takes the form of interviews or facilitated group discussions. We have employed remote moderation to achieve a number of different outcomes, from usability testing to informing the creation of personas, experience maps, or future state customer journeys.
At U1, we have considerable experience in conducting remotely moderated research, frequently running our research projects using a mix of in person (i.e. contextual, client side, or U1’s dedicated research facilities) and remote moderation.
Some of the benefits of remotely moderated research are:
- Participants are in their own environment which can make them feel more comfortable, plus we get some insight into that environment and their context of use as part of their participation
- If conducting usability testing, participants are using their own devices (i.e. computer or phone), rather than having to potentially adapt to our, or client’s, devices
- Recruitment is not geographically focussed on the location of the research moderators
- A different level of intimacy, and sometimes candour, can be attained due to the physical separation of participant and moderator (OR A different level of candour and intimacy can sometimes be achieved with participants when engaging with them in their home or workplace, with the researcher as a virtual, rather than physical, presence)
There are also some considerations that need to be taken into account when conducting remotely moderated research:
- The potential for disruption is greater as the participant may be at home or work
- The opportunity for stakeholders to observe live research can be compromised, depending on the tools being used
- Technical competency of participants and the quality of connections can impact on the experience; however, we have developed robust processes for mitigating this particular risk
We have observed that with the increased uptake of, and engagement with, video enabled messaging and calling apps and technology there is a greater degree of familiarity, and comfort, with the use of tools like Zoom and Lookback in remotely facilitating research.
Below are some quotes from research participants about their involvement in remotely moderated research:
“Remote is really good. When the tech works and works well like this I feel much more comfortable doing it online. That’s fantastic! In fact, I’m in quarantine at the moment so this was the only way I’d be able to participate. Thank you for the opportunity.”
“I find I’m using it more and more, especially in these times. Even my daughter’s dance class is in Zoom! It’s very easy to use.”
“Considering this is only the second time I’ve ever done it [remotely], it’s very easy. I don’t know if it would be much different even if you were here with me. Well, I guess you are here with me, aren’t you!”
“This is good. I don’t feel that it is any different. I’d do it in the future.”
Our experience, and that of participants, makes us confident that with the appropriate planning and forethought, remotely moderated research does not mean any compromise on the rigour or quality of approach or insights. This is particularly important given the current situation in Australia and the rest of the world where we will need to lean on remotely moderated research in the coming months.
The U1 Toolkit
To provide you with the clearest possible insights and help you deliver real outcomes, we tailor each project to include the right methods and activities from our extensive toolkit.
True Intent Online Study