The Good and Bad of Remote Website Usability Testing

The Good and Bad of Remote Website Usability Testing

The Good and Bad of Remote Website Usability Testing

The Good and Bad of Remote Website Usability Testing

Putting “website usability testing” and “remote working” together might sound easy since both are doable online, but is it? First, let’s take a look at some details about the two terms.

Usability is “the fact of something being easy to use”, according to the Cambridge dictionary, while testing is the act of using something to see or assess its effectiveness. In the IT field, testing is the process of determining if the goals are met, such as software. Now, putting both words together with “website” gives us “website usability testing”. It is a method of researching to test how smoothly and easily a website (that includes user experience) can be used.

However, even experienced designers and developers do not always make perfect websites. Inconsistencies, faulty functions, and errors may still occur, which explains the existence of usability testing.

Due to certain circumstances like the 2020 pandemic, website usability testing has now evolved remote methods. Even before 2020, cases like schedule conflicts and difficulty in recruiting on-site testers prompted the use of remote testing. While doing usability testing through online means is truly convenient, it may also pose some drawbacks.

This brings us back to the question: Is remote testing just as effective as on-site testing? Here are some good and bad points to think about.

The Good and Bad in Remote Usability Testing

The Good and Bad in Remote Usability Testing

The Good.

Remote website usability testing benefits both researchers and users through the following:

  • Cost saving – Remote testing helps you save money if the testers use their device or equipment, as well as removing the need to spend on a physical venue.
  • User’s Ease – Testing on-site could distress users if something goes wrong. It is advantageous to raise a concern quickly in an on-site setup but encountering a problem could also make them uncomfortable around other users or the facilitator. For instance, a tester finding it troublesome to navigate a page due to its confusing UI UX design could set off delays. In remote testing, users can freely express whatever they want because of the physical absence of others. · Timesaving – Usability testing can be conducted asynchronously. This means that researchers can instruct the users beforehand through email or other means, and testers can also provide feedback in the same way, which makes it perfect for participants with conflicting schedules.
  • Unlimited test users – Using laboratories or other venues do not only require a corresponding budget but also limit the potential number of test users. In a remote testing setup, organizations can get more testers as there are fewer overhead expenses.

The Bad.

Despite the advantages mentioned, there are also disadvantages such as:

  • Monitoring Issues – Some types of organic feedback such as gestures and facial expressions are observable in on-site testing but not in remote testing, especially if it is asynchronous. Thus, the difficulty in gauging certain parameters such as the UX design of a website could be overlooked. · Reduced Engagement – Remote testing lessens the ability of facilitators to monitor the appropriate and inappropriate actions of users that could help on improving the product. · Security – Data loss and other instances could happen, especially if a user is using an outdated or incompatible device.
  • Technical Issues – It is highly possible for technical issues to arise, especially when not every user has the same technical literacy or equipment as one another. Raising queries will be harder compared to on-site testing.

The Good and The Bad


Everything comes with a good and bad side, and remote website usability testing also has them. You must weigh which one is the better option depending on your use case. If you are leaning towards remote testing, then it is highly recommended to work with a company that has managed to win over such disadvantages mentioned above to provide its clients with valuable results. One such company you can count on for experts who can do on-site or remote website usability testing is USER Experience Researchers Pte. Ltd., a UX company Singapore businesses trust. Your website could be included in USER’s 100+ projects and counting. Get in touch today!

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