Participating in a Remote Usability Test
If you have been invited by SAP to participate in a remote usability session, perhaps you are curious about how this is all set up and what you are expected to do. Read on for a short explanation.
What is a usability test?
In a usability test, participants are shown a software prototype which is in an early stage of development. Its maturity level can range from a hand-drawn paper wireframe to a functioning, but unfinished, working prototype. The product team runs the test with potential end-users of the software to understand if the software is user-friendly. In most usability tests, some typical tasks which mimic real-world situations have been prepared for the participant. When participants struggle to solving these tasks, this is a clear indicator that something needs to be changed before the product is finalized. Usability tests are frequently run face-to-face, but can also be conducted remotely.
How the remote usability testing is set up
A remote usability session is always hosted by at least two people from SAP – one moderator and one note taker. The moderator will – as the name already indicates – moderate the session while the note taker is a silent observer and writes down everything he or she hears and sees. Note-taking is necessary for us so we can later analyze what we saw and heard in the test session. There might be other people observing the session, for example people on the development team like a product manager, developer, development architect or knowledge manager. But the main contact person during the test session is always the moderator.
Technical requirements on your side
You do not have to prepare anything for the usability test sessions. You need nothing more than a computer, internet access, and a phone. In the meeting request from the SAP testing team, there will be a link and an explanation how you can dial-in or access the session. It might be necessary to run a quick connectivity check upfront, but don’t worry, your SAP contact person will be happy to help you with the technical setup.
Once this is ready, nothing more is needed on your side than 60 to 90 minutes of your time – and your brain waves!
What the participant does during the session
Usually, you are asked to perform various tasks with a prototype of an application. Before each task, the moderator will show you the task and you will be able to interact with the prototype directly from your computer. One important thing that you are asked to do is to think aloud, i.e. you are asked to tell the moderator what you are doing, thinking, expecting and what you like and don’t like …basically everything that you do and that comes to your mind.
During the whole session, please always keep in mind that we are not testing you, but you are testing the software. We want and need your open and honest feedback about the software you are testing!
After the session is finished, the project team analyzes your feedback.
In a typical SAP usability test, there are at least five other end-users who test the prototype. The feedback of all participants is combined to understand if there are common insights that help to improve the product.
Important for you to know: Your feedback is highly confidential! The information you share with the team is anonymized, and findings are only used internally to help improve SAP’s products.
Are you interested in participating in this or other kind of feedback activities with SAP? Learn more about how you can influence SAP’s product development by clicking here.