You’ve set up a test and put it online. Now all the user has to do is open it on their own desktop. In ‘normal’ times you’d prepare by setting the stage before the user even enters the building, but now online is all you have. After the user spends five minutes listening to your explanation of where to click to even start up the test, he now has to enter a few credentials and press the ‘next page’ button. Except he can’t find the indicated feature. This would give great test data of course but it takes a longtime to explain to the user where to go or how to fix issues instead of just regaining control over their desktop.
Picking the right wrong tool
There are dozens of paid and unpaid plans which could do the trick. Software like Skype, Teams, Lookback.io, Figma or maybe even TeamViewer. All of these have their pros but also some cons. Ideally you would pick a tool which doesn’t ask for an installation process, but can invite users anonymously. To pick the right tool you should keep easy access, privacy and quality in mind.
Tooling like Skype and Teams takes quite a lot of time to install and to create an account if the user doesn’t already have the software.
Lookback.io works faster, but you are stuck on Chrome with the extension. The importance of this issue depends on your user or the company you work for. Personally, my current project is Windows and Internet explorer only. Go figure.
Figma could give the user anonymity, plus the person directing the test could give back instructions by pointing in the right direction. Except for the prototyping and animation features Figma wouldn’t give back a precise usability test.
TeamViewer could be the best tool for conducting online tests, because it gives you the possibility to take over your user’s desktop remotely. But in reality this tool opens up a whole new issue: privacy. Gaining control over the entire personal computer of another user just wouldn’t sit right with the GDPR.