Thoughts, new tech, ideas, prototypes


Remote UX research DOES have it’s benefits

It’s 2023, and the world has changed. It used to be that parts of various workforces would work remotely, but now, pretty much everyone has had the experience at one point or another.

Thanks to the latest global pandemic varieties of Covid, we’ve all had to adapt accordingly. In this time we learned many things such as how to work more autonomously, how to better communicate with a team spread in different locations, how to make knead-free dutch oven artisan bread… and if you were in my line of work, you learned how to do your research remotely. Using cloud-based tools such as the suite from Optimal Workshop make it easier, and often more in-depth giving better, wider encompassing results.

Here are some of the key benefits of doing UX research remotely:

  1. Cost savings: Conducting UX research remotely can save costs associated with travel, venue rental, and other logistics required for in-person research. With remote research, there is no need to rent a physical space for the study or travel to the location where the participants are located. This can lead to significant cost savings, especially for research studies with a large number of participants or for studies that require participants from different geographic locations.
  2. Reach a wider audience: With remote UX research, you can reach a wider audience, including participants who live in different geographic locations or have mobility issues that make it difficult to participate in in-person research. This means that you can recruit participants from a larger pool, allowing you to gather more diverse perspectives and insights about your product or service.
  3. Increased convenience: Participants can participate in remote UX research from the comfort of their own home or office, making it more convenient for them to participate. This can increase the likelihood that participants will complete the study and provide valuable feedback, as they do not need to take time off work or travel to a specific location to participate.
  4. Reduced bias: Remote UX research can reduce bias in research as participants may feel more comfortable sharing their honest opinions in a familiar environment. In-person research studies can create an artificial environment that may influence participant behavior or opinions. Remote research can help mitigate these biases, resulting in more accurate and reliable research data.
  5. Increased flexibility: Remote UX research offers greater flexibility in scheduling research sessions, as participants can participate from any location with an internet connection. This allows for more convenient scheduling and can make it easier to accommodate participants’ busy schedules.
  6. Better data: Remote UX research can yield better data, as remote research can be conducted in participants’ natural environments, providing insights into their real-world experiences with products or services. In-person research studies can be conducted in artificial environments that may not accurately reflect participants’ experiences in the real world. Remote research can provide a more accurate picture of how participants use products or services in their daily lives.


One New Zealand business that has great success with it’s remote research is XERO.

Xero, a cloud-based accounting software company, provides a platform for small businesses to manage their accounting needs, including invoicing, payroll, and expense tracking.

In order to improve the user experience of their software, Xero uses a variety of UX research methods, including remote usability testing. Xero has a dedicated team of UX researchers who conduct remote usability testing with users from around the world.

Xero uses a combination of tools and platforms, including UserTesting and Lookback, to conduct remote usability testing. Using these tools, Xero is able to recruit participants from different geographic locations and conduct research sessions remotely.

The insights gained from remote usability testing have allowed Xero to identify areas globally where users are struggling with the software and make improvements to the user interface and user experience. For example, Xero used remote usability testing to identify issues with their invoicing system and make changes that resulted in a more intuitive and user-friendly interface.

By researching remotely, Xero is able to gather valuable insights from a diverse range of global users and improve the usability and become a leader in the cloud-based accounting software market.

Leveraging the right tools and methodologies enables remote UX researchers to provide valuable insights into users’ needs and preferences from anywhere with the needed flexibility to gain better outcomes. The last few years have proven that distance and time zones don’t have to be an obstacle, and that you can even make them work to your advantage. Here’s to what we will all continue to learn in 2023!


Finance app design and pinball wizardry
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) integration in UX design

Leave a Reply

51 − 46 =