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Remote Research

Real Users, Real Time, Real Research 

Published: February 2010 Paperback: 266 pages, ISBN 1-933820-77-2 Digital: ISBN 1-933820-44-6

by Nate Bolt & Tony Tulathimutte

Remote Research

Remote user research helped us find a good mix of users whose intent was to conduct the same tasks that we were examining on the AAA TripTik Travel Planner. It was thrilling for our team of developers, researchers, and managers to watch and hear travelers interact with the application in their own environments."

—Renuka Sastri Manager of Publishing Marketing, AAA

Remote studies allow you to recruit subjects quickly, cheaply, and immediately, and give you the opportunity to observe users as they behave naturally in their own environment. In Remote Research, Nate Bolt and Tony Tulathimutte teach you how to design and conduct remote research studies, top to bottom, with little more than a phone and a laptop.

The book's benefits

  • Learn how recent developments in Web products and services allow you to recruit, manage, and conduct user research projects 100% remotely
  • Learn what you can uncover with remote research that you can't learn in a lab study
  • Understand the differences between different types of remote research, and the strengths and limitations of each
  • Understand the most important principles of native environment research for preserving authentic and valid user feedback in unpredictable out-of-lab settings
  • Learn the pragmatics of designing a remote study, so you can do it yourself and impress the hell out of everybody

“Remote Research” Blog

Remote Research is now on sale!

Yes, it’s finally here! You can now pick up a copy of Nate and Tony’s Remote Research in a variety of flavors: one package (US$36) includes a lovely four color paperback and a screen-optimized DRM-free PDF; the other (US$22) is a pair of DRM-free PDFs (one screen-optimized, the other for you to print yourself). Let …

User Research Friday 2010

User Research Friday 2010 is coming February 19! URF is a casual half-day conference brought to you by the gentle folks at Bolt | Peters. We bring user research experts together for advanced discussion, beverages, relaxed learning, and heavy socializing. Past attendees have included design, UX, and research superstars from organizations including IBM, Google, Nokia, …

Time-Aware Research

The soul of remote research is that it lets you conduct what we call Time-Aware Research. By now UX researchers are familiar with the importance of understanding the usage context of an interface–the physical environment where people are normally using an interface. Remote research opens the door to conducting research that also happens at the …

Screening Out Liars From Your Usability Study

A new article on 90 Percent of Everything discusses a few ways to screen out potential “fake users” who lie about their qualifications to participate in your study: In fact, a lot of liars can be screened out by writing a really good screener questionnaire. For example, here’s a decoy question that the Mozilla metrics …

Remote Testing Tools Round-up by Liz Bacon

Liz Bacon of Devise maintains a great list of remote usability testing tools on Google Docs; check em out! (We’re working on something like this in the near future as well; for now, check out the Tools page on our sister website,!)