Remote Design Research

Session Title

Remote Design Research


Nate Bolt, Bolt | Peters

Session Type: Activity

Want to do design research cheaply and efficiently with participants anywhere in the world? (Of course.) Want to observe real users in their native technology environments, from the comfort of your own desk? (Who doesn’t?) But what software and hardware do you need, and will it actually work? This session will explain the latest and greatest tools, their pros and cons, and how to put together the right toolkit for you. We’ve just about finished the upcoming book “Remote Research” and are eager to share some of the techniques and lessons as fun activities.

We will cover the most powerful tools for un-moderated conceptual research, remote screen observation, participant communication, observer involvement, session recording, time-aware tasks, and real-time recruiting. Get the lowdown on UserVue, Acrobat Connect, GoTo Meeting, Loop11, OpenHallway, UserZoom, Optimal Sort, Ethnio, and more. Questions are encouraged — bring a laptop and a remote research challenge and we’ll work it all out. The session is based our recent workshop “Escape The Lab”


Nate Bolt serves as El Presidente of Bolt | Peters where he is fascinated by the role of research and design in our lives. He has overseen hundreds of user experience projects for Sony, Oracle, Volkswagen, Greenpeace, and others. He is co-author of the Rosenfeld book, Remote Research, and created the world’s first moderated remote testing software in 2003, Ethnio, which is now being used around the world to recruit hundreds of thousands of live participants for research.

Nate gives talks about research and design in both commercial and academic settings, including a recent keynote for the Urban Libraries Council. Last century, he worked with faculty at the University of California, San Diego, to create a degree titled “Digital Technology and Society,” which focused on the social impact of technology. He also completed a year of communications studies at the Sorbonne in Paris, where he failed every class, and was jailed briefly for playing drums in public without a license.