Tablet remote usability testing at Mozilla

We wanted to do some usability testing on an iPad app.  A simple task for any user experience researcher.  But one of the front-end engineers works out of his home in England, the lead designer works from our Toronto office, the product manager works out of her home in Canada, the other front-end engineer and tech lead work from our San Francisco office and I float between our San Francisco and Mountain View offices.  And our participants, who were Mozillia employees, were from anywhere and everywhere. :)

Our challenge was to conduct usability tests and broadcast them in real time to our teammates in 3+ locations as well as record the session for later data analysis.  Here’s what we did:

  1. Turned on our video conferencing client, Vidyo, and all signed into the same room on my laptop.
  2. Had the participant hug my laptop – from the back – while holding their iPad so my built in webcam would capture the iPad.  (A trick I learned from Jenn Downs, a user researcher at MailChimp.)
  3. Set up a Flip camera on a stand to record the laptop screen for later use.
  4. Taped a phone to the top of the laptop and used it as a camera when the participant and the researcher were in different locations.

At first I was afraid the video quality wouldn’t be good enough, but it everyone worked out really well.  So here’s how we do tablet remote usability testing at Mozilla.  We’d love to learn more of your tricks.

4 comments on “Tablet remote usability testing at Mozilla”

  1. Ping from this is how we do tablet remote usability testing | on

    […] this is how we do tablet remote usability testing @mozilla Link – Trackbacks Posted in User experience (UX) | Permalink. ← More Than Usability: The […]

  2. Ken wrote on

    What’s this? A new Mozilla app for iPad?? Any place where I can find more info? Oh, and regarding the testing, love it! You gotta do what you’ve gotta do!

  3. Dean wrote on

    I use a Nook Color Tablet, and would like to help you if possible test it’s compatibility with FF. I am a computer repair specialist, hardware & software. Occasional Beta tester for other companies in past, including AOL & SETI. Not a programmer, however.

    If I can be helpful, can fly to your location with help. Readily available.

  4. Ping from Remote Usability Testing – Tablet remote usability testing at Mozilla on

    […] Our friend Diane Loviglio over at Mozilla posted this pretty helpful guide to how they test tablets over there. They offer up some cool variations on the hugging technique that MailChimp uses, so check out the full article over on Mozilla’s blog. […]