Allround Stories

New Approaches for the Implementation of User Studies

Special times require special approaches and strategies. How user studies can be conducted without contact or without presence in times of contact restrictions.

August 2020

The daily routine persists of a lot of home office and online meetings. In retail, distance must be maintained and personal contact is reduced to the bare essentials. Nevertheless, it is important to analyze user needs through studies. Although the development of new products is getting slower, finding out what needs a user group has or how test users react to a new design is still very important for a successful development process.

The Allround Team is engaged in conducting studies “remotely”. This means that testers are not invited to our offices but can participate in user studies independently at home without the presence of our test supervisors.

Our developers have been working with Virtual Reality (VR) for quite some time and studies have already been conducted with VR glasses. So the idea of sending VR-glasses to testers was quickly developed to show a test scenario with videos of the concepts that were to be evaluated. Due to the realistic presentation, results can be achieved, which are comparable to the ones attained in real test scenarios.

A first prototype revealed two challenges:

  1. Testers are familiar with VR glasses to different degrees and have different levels of experience in handling this new technology.

    The system must therefore be designed and operated in a simple way.

  1. Testers pass through a simulation with the VR glasses that also asks for answering questions or assessing specific aspects. Here the answers must now be recorded in some way. This task is normally performed by the test supervisor attending the session.

    The system requires a recording function for later transcription of the tester’s answers.

With competence and expertise, these challenges were mastered in another prototype. With this technology it is now possible to conduct studies remotely.

This brings several advantages at the same time: Testers can take their time at home and a possible risk of infection is minimized. The VR technology also allows the tester to enter the simulation immersively at home. In addition, the operation of the glasses is a new challenge for some testers, but the interest in new technologies is high among many people.

By means of iterative development, new ideas and approaches can be implemented quickly and the daily business can be continued even when facing the current restrictions.