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Nate Bolt  

Guide to Remote Usability Testing

July 18th, 2006 by Nate Bolt :: 11 Comments

_Nate Bolt is co-founder and CEO of [Bolt | Peters][1] where he works on remote usability and ethnography. Having overseen hundreds of moderated remote usability studies for clients like Oracle, Time Warner, Princess Cruises, and Hallmark, he led the creation of the first moderated remote usability application, Ethnio. Nate speaks regularly about remote research and created a degree titled “Digital Technology and Society,” at the University of California, San Diego, which focused on the intersection of technology and mass population usage. He also studied at the Sorbonne in Paris, where he was jailed briefly for playing drums in public without a license._

As more usability practitioners start conducting remote usability testing, there seems to be a demand for some tips and guidelines around this technique. New screen-sharing tools like [Breeze][2], [Co-Pilot][3], and [GoToMeeting][4], and remote usability tools like [Ethnio][5] and [UserVue][6], make it easier to conduct moderated remote usability testing. Dealing with video and audio recordings keeps getting simpler as well. But observing people remotely presents a unique set of obstacles, so this is a guide to what we’ve learned from conducting 149 remote studies with 1,213 participants over the last seven years. We can’t get that time back, but hopefully some of what we’ve picked up will be helpful.


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