A 360 degree view on Remote User Research

Session Title

A 360 degree view on Remote User Research


Sabrina Mach, FeraLabs

Session Type: Demo

Although the audience of websites is global, the most common ways of user research are spatially bound, and confined to a research laboratory. This is in direct contrast to both the global spirit of the web and the random selection of people who view a website or online application. The demos of this session will show how you can use online methods for carrying out usability research at each stage of the design process

This talk will involve three 12 minute demos of remote user research tools.

The Birth of an Idea — Remote Ethnography by Ofer Deshe

Ofer will take us through a journey from initial concepts through the design of a new remote ethnography web service. The service is a new framework that enables easier access to contextual research and includes data capturing technologies such as smart phone apps, an online web diary, email and social media integration. Additionally, the framework includes a number of built-in qualitative analysis tools. Analysis is conducted in real-time allowing ongoing monitoring of behaviours in remote locations and contexts.

Testing the Prototype — Synchronous Remote Testing by Volker Gersabeck of pidoco¡

Volker, will show off the next version of pidoco¡, which is a web-based software suite for prototyping and testing. It allows for live-collaborative designing a prototype, which is instantanously available on many devices (desktop, mobile, etc). Built around the prototype are different ways for collecting feedback from all the different stakeholders. With the new version comes a module which allows for moderated remote usability tests.

Testing the Product — Asynchronous Remote Testing by Sabrina Mach

Sabrina will present Webnographer, a tool for un-moderated remote usability testing, which enables fast and cost effective testing of any website with participants across the world. She will show how Webnographer can be used to inform the design of your website, how it benchmarks performance, and how to gain insight into user behaviour through the different reports that the tool offers. Using Webnographer not only helps the Interaction Designer understand their user’s behaviour, but provides them with formative insight, as well as summative results for benchmarking website performance.


Ofer is a qualified psychologist and has more than 10 years experience as a user experience researcher, designer and strategist. He has worked with some of the most well known brands in financial services, video games, TV, and mobile. Ofer has defined and led user experience research, strategy and design consulting engagements for clients such as Thomson-Reuters, BBC, Sony, Standard Life, Sega, Vodafone, Shell, and Nokia.

During his studies at Hasso-Plattner-Institute in Potsdam, Germany, Volker learned the challenges of global software engineering in several internships in France and the USA. After realizing the possibilities of collaborative online prototyping for the success of software projects he founded pidoco three years ago. Being the product manager, user centered design was established from the very beginning as the main development strategy for the pidoco prototyping suite. In 2009 he organized the UXcamp in Berlin, which has been the first BarCamp in Europe with a focus on User Experience and its related areas.

Sabrina Mach co-developed Webnographer, an online tool for remote usability testing after seeing a need for a way for the designer to understand users anywhere in the world. She is a Partner at FeraLabs, a firm specializing in remote usability testing, and has worked with clients ranging from major broadcasters, and banks in Europe to NGO trying to understand user behaviour in Africa. Her research interests are on the impact of technology on culture, and how culture impacts the use of new products and ideas. She has a background in philosophy, market research, design and Human-Computer Interaction.