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Participating in a SelfTest or Tasks unmoderated research session: Android
Participating in a SelfTest or Tasks unmoderated research session: Android

SelfTest and Tasks guide for participants using Android devices

Russ Troester avatar
Written by Russ Troester
Updated over a week ago

A benefit of unmoderated research is that as a participant (aka tester, respondent),you can complete the test on your own time. The goal of these sessions is to provide your honest perspective and feedback on an app, website, prototype, etc, so there are no right or wrong answers. It is the product that is being tested, not you, so feel free to be completely honest and open!

As you're going through a session, remember to share your thoughts aloud — what you expect to happen, what you didn't expect, etc. In other words, share everything that goes through your mind as you carry out the task(s) requested.

Before your session

  1. Instructions. Read any instructions provided by your researcher carefully.

  2. Compatibility. Make sure you use a compatible device and Android software version. You'll need Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) or newer - official releases only; no beta versions.

  3. Strong, stable wifi. Make sure you're on a strong WiFi connection; using a cellular data connection - even with LTE, 4G, or 5G - will not be reliable enough. We recommend a connection with a download speed of at least 5Mbps. If things don't work as expected, connectivity issues is a common explanation. To minimise the risk of such problems you can also:

    • silence calls and close out of any other apps that might be running

    • minimise use of any other data-heavy activities on the same connection. For example, if someone in the house is trying to watch Netflix or play an online game while you're trying to participate in a session, it may cause issues, depending on your connection

    • If you normally use any kind of VPN (Virtual Private Network) software on your device, please disable it for the duration of the test. See this help article for more information.

  4. Headset with mic. While it's not required to use headset, we strongly recommend using one to reduce risk of bad audio, echo issues in the recording, etc. A wired headset is preferred for the best reliability, but a wireless one will work as well. Just make sure the headset has a built-in microphone.

  5. Be undisturbed. Find a quiet, comfortable spot to conduct the test

Starting Your Session

When you're ready to start your session, you'll need to install the Particpate app by Lookback on your Android Device and follow a few setup steps.

  1. Install/open Participate.

    1. Tap on the participant link sent to you by your researcher. It should look something like this:[alphanumeric-code]

    2. The link will either take you straight to the test (if you already have Participate installed) or you'll get two options:

      1. If you do not have the Participate app installed, tap on Install participate. This will take you to the Google Play store so you can download & install the app. Note: do not tap on Open in the Google Play store once the app is installed. Instead, continue to step 1.c.

      2. If you do already have the Participate app installed, tap on I already have Participate. This will take you into the session.

    3. If you had to install the app first, go back to the Participant Link you were sent, tap on it again, and if you don't automatically go into the app, choose I already have Participate

    4. Please note: By continuing, you agree to have your experience recorded. Feel free to review our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

  2. Welcome message After tapping the participant link and opening the Participate app, the first thing you'll see is a pop-up welcome message (if the researcher included one). Read carefully and then tap the X at the top right to close.

    After you've closed the Welcome message, tap Get started

  3. Headset. As noted previously, while not required, a headset is recommended. If you do not have a headset connected, you'll be prompted to Grab a headset!; if you do have a headset connected you'll see Nice headset!

  4. Name/E-mail. Now you'll be prompted to fill out your name and an email address.

    1. Please Note: Lookback doesn't use this info. It just goes straight to the Researcher once you complete the session.

    2. Anonymity. If the Researcher doesn't require you to share your real information, and it's ok with them to use an alias/fake e-mail, just get creative and make something up! The email address only needs to follow the standard email address format:

      Please note: if you're not sure whether or not you can use a fake name/email, please reach out to the researcher who recruited you for the study.

  5. Permissions. Now you'll need to enable your camera, microphone, and screen recording.

    1. Camera: Depending on the settings of the study, the camera may be set to Optional, Required, or Disabled

      1. Optional. If the researcher has chosen this option, you'll be able proceed regardless if the Camera is turned on or not.

      2. Required. If you leave the camera toggled to the off position (slider is to the left), but you can't click Next even though Microphone is enabled, this means the researcher has required the use of the camera and you will not be able to proceed until you enable the camera.

      3. Disabled. If the camera is set to disabled, you will not see the Camera toggle on your screen

        Please note: If this is your first time using the Participate app, when you toggle the camera and microphone on, you'll likely be prompted by Android to allow permissions. Tap on While using the app to allow camera (or microphone) permissions.

    2. Microphone. A Microphone is always required, but the Android OS requires you to give permission so you'll need to toggle the Microphone setting to on and then allow system permissions to proceed.

    3. Screen. Since the main aim of the test is for the researcher to observe how you interact with their website/app/prototype, screen sharing is required for all unmoderated tests. Please note: Don't worry, the researcher can't control anything on your screen, this only allows them to see and record what's displayed on your screen.

      After you slide it to the on position, you'll tap Start now on the confirmation screen.

      Please note: everything on your screen will be recorded so be careful to not display any sensitive information on your screen for the duration of the test.

  6. Using the hand: The yellow hand icon is the shortcut to reach the panel in Participate to access landing page link, Instructions or pause/end the session. The hand icon will be present on your screen the entire time and can be slid up or down if it is in the way.

    To proceed, simply slide the hand icon down to the indicated spot. The message on the screen will change to Great job! and you'll be instructed to tap the hand icon to start your session.

    Please note: depending on your device and the version of Android you're using, you may be prompted to allow the hand icon to be displayed over apps. If so, just follow these steps:

    1. Tap on Open setting

    2. Scroll down until you find the Participate app

    3. Enable the setting to Allow display over other apps

  7. The session has now started!

    1. Reminder: since there's no moderator to ask, it's important that you share your thoughts out loud during your session. Some examples include what you like or don't like, anything that might be confusing or unclear, etc. In short: if you have a thought about anything while testing the website or the app, say it out loud!

    2. If you ever need to access the Instructions, just tap the hand icon to return to the main menu where you'll have the option to Pause session, view the Instructions, or access the in-app Browser

Ending your session

  1. When it's time to end the test, (tap the hand icon to navigate back to the Participate App, if necessary) tap Pause Session and you'll have the options Resume or End session. Tap End Session and then End session one final time to confirm.

  2. You'll now see a Final Message from the researcher which may include a post-session survey, information about any incentives, etc. Once you've seen this message, you can close it and then tap Done on the Session finished screen.

Bravo! Thanks for taking the time to participate in the session. 🌟

You can now close the Participate App, the Browser and any other Apps you may have used during the test. You're also free to uninstall the Participate app if you no longer need it.

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