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This is more of a curious question for UX researchers that has been in my mind lately: how are you handling UX research during the pandemic? Because there are some in-person studies like observation or shadowing that cannot be done specially if you are in a country where cases are growing and it would be risky not only for the participant but for the team and the researcher.

Are you focusing only on working fully remote?

is there any way to compensate the loss of not being able to be in the field and meet the context of the people? How are you handling this?

All ideas are welcome,

Thank you in advance!

3 Answers 3

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In my own experience everyone in my company went remote a few months after I started working there. I had gotten internal stakeholders ok with letting me shadow their teams, who use the application on which I am the UX designer, so that was inconvenient. I've been able to make do with video chats and screen sharing, but it's no replacement for being able to watch them in person. What's also made it complicated is that these users are either 100% remote, so there is very little consistency in how their work stations are set up at home and all the various distractions that come from being remote. It's hard to determine if an issue someone is having is consistent across multiple users or just a consequence of their particular set up.

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Not sure if this helps, but during lockdown recruiting participants was actually easier than our usual in person interview set up. This was because for in person interviews, some users found it too much effort to drive to the interview venue. For remote interviews users were able to do it over ms-teams from their home as they were working from home too.

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Remote UX research methodologies including interviews is becoming fully remote steadily and slowly. What started during the pandemic has set the norm during non-pandemic times. More and more organizations are shifting towards remote research methods as it is cost-effective and finding study participants (users) is much easier considering the time it takes in recruiting. Yes, Remote testing is no replacement for in-person testing however, it all comes down to the experience of the UX researcher. A completely moderated remote interview can yield the same results as in-person interviews if one is astute to the verbal cues. Though physica action dominate the in-person interview observation it the verbal cues that are important during remote monitoring. Encouraging participants to think aloud is the key for successful remote testing. Remote testing will not go away and the best method is to find atrategies to adapt to this changing UX research mehtods than comparing it with the good old days of in-person interview. That is how I am able to tackle the UX research during pandemic.

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