A few things I took away from the session (apart from being pretty impressed by their ability to stage 35 tests worldwide for the British Council at short notice) were:
- Laptop hugging - a cheap and cheerful way to record a participant on a mobile device usability testing session. (See: Mail Chimp UX blog post on laptop hugging) Definitely going to give this a try!
- Skype translation beta demo on YouTube looks really interesting and potentially a way in future to undertake research with distance learners overseas. (See: Skype translation beta demo on You Tube)
- Audio connections are fundamental - you can recover from video problems but switching to instant messaging when audio fails is very frustrating for both parties. User Vision consultants recommended Skype if choice is there because it worked well at low bandwidths and out of all options available was most likely to be familiar technology with participants overseas.
- Check out the UK-based remote testing company Whatusersdo. I've always used UserTesting.com because it was recommended by Steve Krug and I've never had a scenario where UK-based participants were essential, but I'll definitely take a look if only to potentially support a UK-based business. (In fairness, I've always found usertesting.com to be a great service - have written about my experiences a few times).
- Office 365 Link could be a useful tool to conduct testing with University staff as we now have Office 365 in place across much of the institution. I like doing face-to-face testing but doing stuff remotely might make it easier to reach out to specific demographics of CMS users when time is tight on our current agile project.