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What is In-the-Wild Testing?

In-the-Wild testing, also known as crowdsourced testing, allows you to test your app, site or prototype with participants who take your study online from anywhere, anytime – whether it’s on the couch on their laptop or standing in line at the store with their mobile phone in hand. This allows companies to better understand how their target audience actually uses their product or service through the power of the internet and the always-on connectivity of mobile devices.

It’s the opposite of bringing someone into an unnatural environment, such as a lab, and asking them to engage with your site or product “naturally.” The closer you can get to the actual consumer environment, the better your research will be.

What makes In-the-Wild Testing with UserZoom valuable?

In-the-wild testing with UserZoom allows you to conduct remote unmoderated usability testing in a quick and cost-effective way. What used to cost tens of thousands of dollars and take weeks to complete is now getting done with hundreds of dollars and in a few days, sometimes even hours.

Given that mobile is quickly becoming users first choice to access the Internet, in-the-wild testing is frequently the most effective way to run a usability test. Unlike slow in-lab user testing experiences, crowdsourced in-the-wild unmoderated UX research is less expensive, more agile and relatively effortless.

Best of all, in-the-wild testing with UserZoom’s software allows you to automatically collect and aggregate participant data, making reporting and analysis quick and simple.

Why Conduct In-the-Wild Testing with UserZoom

Cheaper than in-lab testing

With in-the-wild testing, no moderation is required. This offers the advantage of saving time, money and effort since participants can take the study concurrently while software automatically collects data. Scheduling participants to come in to a lab isn’t necessary and traveling on the part of participants or study moderators is not required.

Agile, fast, & scalable

The best testing is done early and often. In-the-wild testing allows you to collect user feedback in a matter of hours or days instead of weeks. And since participants can simultaneously take your study, you can collect feedback from hundreds of users, allowing you to obtain statistically significant results without the need to drastically increase research costs.

Natural Context

Bringing participants to a lab, complete with a stranger moderating, a 1-way mirror and likely a device or computer that’s not their own, is not exactly natural. With in-the-wild testing, users are participating at home or on-the-go with their own devices, which is much closer to the actual usage of your product or site.

Representative Samples

With in-the-wild testing, you can invite participants from anywhere – whether they’re local or from all across the planet – enabling you to test differences between regions or internationally.

Qualitative + Quantitative + Behavioral Data

UserZoom automatically collects a vast amount of essential usability data – including task effectiveness or success rates and efficiency (i.e., time on task, unique page views, number of clicks), screen and audio recordings, as well as clickstreams and heatmaps, among others. By combining qualitative feedback with quantitative UX metrics and behavioral data, you get a clear picture of the user journey.

Honest Feedback

When participants anonymously take part in a study they will openly give you their honest, direct feedback whether the experience was great or terrible. This stands in contrast to moderated sessions, where users are much more likely to curb their true feelings in front of the moderator.

Automatic Reporting

Finally, in the agile world you don’t need to spend time tabulating data and creating reports . Let software take care of things! With in-the-wild testing you can collect and aggregate tons of data and automate the reporting task by hitting a button, or just copying and pasting the most interesting charts or video clips.

When to conduct In-the-wild Testing

Test early and test often with UserZoom’s in-the-wild solution. Whether it’s testing prototypes, functioning sites or apps, or ongoing benchmarking of your product against competitors, test with users at every stage of design and development.

What results do you get

 Quantitative UX metrics

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Behavioral data

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Qualitative video

Obtain screen recordings that show you exactly how participants are navigating through a task

Obtain audio and facial expressions through user video recordings

Through UserZoom’s Video Question type, you can ask users to answer interview-like questions while they’re in their natural environment, like in a store or at a coffee shop. Our Video Question capability allows you to select either a front camera or back camera view, depending on which perspective you’d like to evaluate.

How to Set up In-the-wild Testing

Depending on the type of data you are aiming to collect, you can select a few different project types, such as:

Task-Based for Web

This type of study is best for collecting data on your websites or prototypes from participants who are using the web. Optionally, you can easily obtain behavioral data by enabling Tracking with Add-on (which uninstalls automatically after the study is complete) or simply insert a short line of JavaScript Coding to your site.

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Task-Based Mobile

This type of study is best for collecting data on your mobile site or app from participants using a mobile device. For this type of study, demographic and behavioral data are automatically collected.

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For Task-Based Mobile studies, you can choose to enable screen, audio and video recording, adding a qualitative layer to the quantitative metrics you’re already collecting.

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Recruiting Participants

Inviting participants with UserZoom is simple. Depending on what audience you’re obtaining information from, you have a few different options for recruiting:

By Email

UserZoom automatically generates email links for you to send out
to your database, a specific list of customers or even internally.

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By QR Code

Much like email, UserZoom also generates QR Codes,
so you can ask users to participate on their own mobile device
while they’re at home, in-store or just about anywhere else.

Invite via QR Codes

By Invitation Layer

UserZoom’s mobile solutions offer a customizable popup invitation layer
so you can catch users when they’re already using your website mobile site or mobile app.
You’re just one simple click away to getting direct feedback and insights.

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How Users Will See It

To Sum it up, In-the-Wild Testing:

  • Allows you to test your app, site or prototype with target users anywhere, anytime
  • Is fast, cost-effective, agile and scalable
  • Makes it practical for you to test prototypes early and your web and mobile sites often
  • Can be conducted on desktop, mobile and tablet devices
  • Is easy to recruit for with UserZoom’s multiple options, including email, QR code and invitation layer
  • Automatically collects and aggregates quantitative and qualitative data, making reporting and analysis quick and simple


Want to learn more about In-The-Wild Testing with UserZoom?

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