Unmoderated Remote Usability Testing (URUT) is a technique for conducting usability testing where participants take test sessions alone and without the presence or interaction with a facilitator. Sessions are usually conducted with the aid of a remote testing software service.
While moderated testing is preferred, URUT may be beneficial when budget or time constraints are an issue. Because URUT is conducted asynchronously, there are some disadvantages. For instance, when instructed, users may not employ the think aloud approach on their own without prompting, users cannot seek support including asking for clarification if tasks are not clear, and facilitators cannot ask follow up questions. As the Nielsen Norman Group notes, some tests may even prove unusable if participants skip or fail to complete tasks.
For more on this topic, refer to the articles below.
- “Conducting a remote unmoderated usability testing," by CanvasFlip.
- “Remote Usability Tests: Moderated and Unmoderated," by Amy Schade. Nielsen Norman Group.
- “Selecting an Online Tool for Unmoderated Remote User Testing," by Marieke McCloskey. Nielsen Norman Group.
- “Unmoderated Remote Usability Testing (URUT) - Every Step You Take, We Won’t Be Watching You," Interaction Design Foundation.