A young woman on her mobile phone and laptop taking part in user research representing the importance of preparing so that you can do remote user research

Taking part in a remote user research project? Here’s how to prepare!

So, you’ve been selected to take part in a remote user research project – fantastic! 

Remote user research is a brilliant way to support the brands and businesses you love and help them to make their products and services better than ever before. It’s also good fun, and a great way to make a bit of extra money!  

As you’ll have probably picked up from your phone call with the team, remote user research can get quite technical and complicated; so, if you’re wondering whether you can do remote user research without preparing beforehand – the answer from us is a resounding “definitely not!”

In fact, there’re a few top tips we’d highly recommend you follow before your session to make sure you not only make a valuable contribution to the research study but also have a great time doing so! Read on to discover what they are… 

7 top tips for preparing to take part in remote user research 

1. Read any pre-session information and instructions – then read them again!  

When you get confirmation that you’ll be taking part in the project, you’ll also be given a set of instructions or information by the researchers to read through before your session.  

This will contain everything you need to know to prepare fully for the study, such as instructions for downloading any apps or software you’ll be using on the day, or an overview of the tasks you may be expected to complete.  

You may also be asked to complete some tech checks (including whether your microphone and screen sharing tech works, what your internet speed is, etc.), as well as signing and returning consent forms. 

It’s important that you read all of this carefully (several times) so that you know exactly what to expect, and that there are no surprises on the day. 

2. Choose a quiet, comfortable place where you won’t be disturbed 

When you take part in remote user research, you’ll need to be 100% focussed, so it’s important that you choose a quiet and comfortable place to sit, preferably at home (rather than going out to busy cafes or other public places) to complete any tasks you’re set.  

If you’re at home with other people, especially children, make that they all know what time and where you’ll be taking part in the research so that they don’t disturb you while you’re in the session. You could even suggest that everyone goes out for a coffee or to the park until you’re done for that extra peace of mind! 

A mum on the phone taking part in user research telling her children she shouldnt be disturbed representing the importance of preparing so that you can do remote user research

3. Remove as many other potential distractions as possible 

In today’s super-busy world full of gadgets and tech, it can be all too easy to get distracted while you’re taking part in remote user research! 

So, before you start, make sure your smartphone is on silent if you have one, and that your notifications are temporarily switched off (this is especially important if using your phone is part of the study!).  

4. Ensure you’ve got a stable internet connection 

During your interview to determine if you can do remote user research, you’ll have been asked about your internet connection’s stability; however, it’s worth running a few internet speed tests!  

5. Make sure all your devices are fully charged 

There’s nothing more frustrating than your electronic devices running out of juice at the wrong moment – and especially during a remote user research session! 

Therefore, the night or morning before, make sure all the devices you need are fully charged, or that you have chargers to hand in case battery power suddenly drops. 

6. If you’re taking part in a group, such as family and friends, make sure they’re all prepared, too! 

If you’re taking part in user research as a group, for example, with your family, be sure that everyone else has followed the above tips as well to ensure there are no hiccups on the day. 

A senior couple on a laptop outdoors and laughing together representing the importance of preparing so that you can do remote user research

7. If you run into any problems, let the researcher know right away. 

Even with all the goodwill in the world and plenty of prep, tech can be unpredictable! Things can also happen unexpectedly in our personal lives, too – for example, your children might become unwell, or an appointment you had scheduled is moved at the last minute. 

Therefore, make sure you have the contact details of the researchers or the agency that recruited you to hand just in case something goes wrong so that you can let them know right away.  

This means that the researchers can help you resolve any problems, or (worst case scenario) find someone to take your place so the research can still go ahead. 

By following the above tips, you’ll be ready and raring to go for a fantastic remote user research session! 

If you’d like any more tips or advice on how to prepare so you can do remote user research successfully, don’t hesitate to ask the Angelfish team – they’d be delighted to help! 

In the meantime, be sure to look at the other paid market research projects we have available that you can take part in, and let any friends or family know about them too if you think they’d be interested…