The main advantage of remote,
over lab, testing is that it generally makes it much quicker to recruit participants and turn tests around. Online testing companies have huge databases full of testers, often broken down by various demographics, who are ready to begin testing almost immediately. With a large amount of users waiting to start it means you can run tests concurrently and 24 hours a day.
If users are broken down into demographics you can select participants that match your target audience at the click of a button. It also means you can recruit users from across the world. For example, one of our clients is targeting their product at an American audience, so it made sense for us to do the testing with American users. Remote testing will normally give you a more diverse range of users than if you are recruiting locally.
Remote users will also be comfortable in their own environment, sitting in familiar surroundings and using their own computers. If we’re testing on a Mac but the user is used to PCs then this may skew our results. This also may make testing easier for people with accessibility issues.
Testing in this fashion can be very cost effective. Companies run bespoke online user tests for around £50 per participant, which is a small price to pay for the insights that you get. As there is no lab required savings can be made here too.