Participating in an unmoderated research session – Android
SelfTest guide for participants using Android devices
Russ Troester avatar
Written by Russ Troester
Updated over a week ago

One of the benefits of the unmoderated research format is that you as a participant (tester, respondent) can complete the test you've signed up in your own time, within the timeframe agreed upon. The goal of these sessions is to provide your honest perspective and feedback on an app, website, prototype, content, so there's no right or wrong, just speak your mind. And remember to share your thoughts aloud — what you expect to happen, what you didn't expect, raise any issues or bugs - everything that goes through your mind as you carry out the task/s/ requested. Lookback's app is called Participate.

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) and later, official releases. No beta versions.

  3. Strong, stable wifi. Make sure you're on a strong WiFi connection. We recommend 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
    - disable calls and other apps that use audio/video/screen sharing, as well as notifications
    - minimise simultaneous use of data-heavy activities on the same connection
    - disable firewall/vpn for the duration of the test, or check our help articles on the subject.

  4. Headset with mic. Grab a wired (preferred) or wireless headset with a built-in microphone to optimise audio quality. It's possible to conduct the session without a headset, but strongly recommended to use one. Reduces risk of bad audio, echo issues in the recording etc.

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

A few quick set-up steps

1. Install/open Participate.

Locate/tap the participant link sent to you by your researcher (test url). It should look something like:

  • The link will either take you straight to the test (if you already have Participate installed) or you'll get two options (see ref. pic), either select 'Install participate' or 'I already have Participate'.

  • The 'Install' option will take you to the Play store, installing will also enable you to share your screen, record your face and voice.

  • The 'I already have' option will take you straight to the test.

  • If you had to install Participate, just tap the participant link again once it's installed.

  • By continuing, you agree to record and upload your experience. Feel free to review our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

2. Welcome!

After tapping the participant link, the first thing you'll see is a pop-up welcome message. Read carefully and close! Tap 'Get started'.

3. Headset.

Next you'll now see a prompt to 'Grab a headset' if you already have one plugged in you'll instead see 'Nice headset'.

4. Name/E-mail.

Now, fill out your name and an email address.

  • Not filed. Lookback doesn't use this info. It just goes straight to the Researcher once you complete the session.

  • 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 needs to follow the format though.

5. Permissions.

Time to enable camera, mic and screen recording.

  • Cam. Typically the Researcher wants to see your lovely face. Cam can be pre-set to optional, disabled, required or optional by the researcher.

  • Disabled. If you can't click Next with the camera toggled on, it probably means the researcher has disabled camera for this test.

  • Required. If you try to toggle your camera off, but can't click 'Next', it probably means your researcher requires participant camera for this test.

  • Optional. If the researcher has set camera as optional, camera can be toggled either on or off. Just make sure you follow the terms of the test.

  • Off means off. If you disable your camera in set-up, you won't be able to enable your camera again however, after the session begins.

  • Mic & Screen. Microphone and Screen are always required, so you will need to toggle those switches on to be able to progress.

❗️ Before you enable screen recording, remember to close any apps or websites with sensitive info (like passwords etc), that you may have open on your phone, as the Participate app records everything that's displayed on your screen.

6. Meet the bubble!

Next is a presentation of the shortcut to Participate for the duration of your session. The bubble (the yellow hand icon) is your shortcut to reach the panel in Participate to access landing page link, Instructions or pause/end the session. In other words, if you're in the browser or testing an app/prototype the bubble will be visible on the left-hand side.

  • The first time you use Participate, you may be prompted to allow the Bubble to be displayed over apps.

  • In this step, slide the bubble down to dock – this step is meant to show you how to move the bubble if it gets in the way during the test.

Session has started!

  • It's important that we can hear your thoughts during your session, since there's no moderator there to ask questions, so remember to speak out. Think aloud throughout the session, say what you’re trying to do, what you expect to see as well as what you didn't expect, and if something seems strange or isn't working as expected.

  • Whenever you need to access the Instructions, just tap the bubble!

Ending your session

  • When it's time to end the test, (tap the bubble to navigate back to the Participate App, if necessary) tap 'Pause Session', then you'll get the options 'Resume' or 'End session'. Tap 'End Session'. Reconfirm.

  • You'll now see a final message from the researcher, so wait for that❗️, otherwise, your participation may not be captured which could lead to you not receiving your incentive from your Researcher.

  • Click 'Done'.

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.

Did this answer your question?