The short answer is… you can run any kind of unmoderated study with User Interviews! Examples include surveys, usability tests, and mini assignments such as asking participants to record a video of themselves completing a specified task. Unmoderated research methods are those that involve participants completing a task on their own before a deadline. In other words, the kind of research where the researcher does not interface directly with the participant.
💡 Unmoderated research can be a valuable tool within your mixed methods user research toolkit. Learn more about the various research methods in our UX Research Field Guide.
When you create a new study with User Interviews, you’ll be prompted to tell us what kind of study you’re running.
If you select “unmoderated task” at this step, your project builder will pre-populate with the relevant templates, making it easy for you to set up your unmoderated study and communicate the right instructions to your participants.
Proceed to fill out each of the screens to build out your project:
The steps are similar to those you may have encountered when setting up a moderated project such as a 1-1 interview. However, there are a few best practices that we recommend specifically for unmoderated studies so we’ll provide more detailed tips in the next section.
On the “Task details” page, there is a field for you to provide task instructions to your participants. This is an open text field you can use to help prepare participants and set their expectations for the task they’re about to complete. The instructions you provide here will dynamically display on task summary screens and emails sent to your participants.
Here are some examples of task instructions you may wish to include:
💡 While key study details such as task length and device requirements are already included in participant communication, this is your opportunity to add clarification and color to really set up your participants for success. Remember, they won’t have the benefit of a moderator guiding them through the session, so if there’s anything you’d like them to know, now’s your chance!
We provide a default email invitation for unmoderated studies that you can use as a starting point. This is a dynamic template that will automatically pull in key information about your study that you have inputted in the project builder. This includes information such as the incentive amount, session length, task deadline, device requirements, and other key things participants will need to know.
You can customize any of the copy within the email so it provides the most compelling details about your study to those who are considering applying. We strongly recommend customizing the copy on the sign up button so it aligns best with what the participant will experience — pay attention to how you’ve configured your study here.
You can customize the button copy by editing the text inside the quotation marks. By default, it will read “Apply to see if you qualify” but you can simply overwrite this text.
Here are some examples of calls-to-action you may use in various study configurations:
You can send a test email to yourself at any time to preview your changes, and you can also reset to the default if you want to start over.
Creating a screener survey for your study is always optional, but researchers often find it helpful to ensure participants meet the qualifying criteria for their study. For general best practice tips on writing screener surveys, refer to this support guide.
Our screener survey template has been redesigned to clearly communicate to participants:
User Interviews offers direct integrations with a number of unmoderated testing tools — but you can actually use any research tool with our system by manually adding a task link in the project builder.
We have recently launched integrations with Lookback and SurveyMonkey making it really easy to track participant progress when using these tools for unmoderated research. When you connect these tools to User Interviews, participant tracking becomes fully automated so you can “set it and forget it”, and be confident that our system will collect all the information you need to move your study forward. More integrations with popular testing tools will be launching in the coming months — check out our integrations page for the latest.
To get started with any of these integrations, visit the integrations page in the app.
Even without an integration, User Interviews is compatible with any tool or method you wish to use, including survey tools, usability testing tools, video recording tools, and so on. As you’re filling out the “Task details” section of your project, simply select the option to “add a link manually”, and copy and paste in the link that you want to direct participants to. This link will be shared with your confirmed participants in all the appropriate places — confirmation screens, reminder emails, and calendar events.
We are continuing to invest in redesigning both the researcher and participant experience for unmoderated studies. We have learnt from our research that there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to an unmoderated study. There are a lot of variables that we need to account for!
Our goal is to give your participants a great and simple experience when participating in an unmoderated study, and we’ll soon be rolling out changes to address some key pain points we’ve heard including confusing language and instructions, too many steps in the process, and issues with study reminders.
Ultimately, you’ll be able to build your unmoderated study step-by-step in the project builder as usual, and we’ll take care of the appropriate wayfinding to guide your participants from start to finish in as few steps as possible.