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Unmoderated testing with Lookback: Tasks

How to set up an unmoderated Tasks round of research in Lookback

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

Tasks is a step-by-step research method, which makes for an intuitive unmoderated participant experience, with seamless transitions between the tasks of the study, which is of great help when there's no moderator around to guide or handhold the participant. You can set a separate url as well as list task-specific instructions for each task.

This help article will walk you through the basics of our unmoderated, task-based product Tasks for both Desktop and Mobile, what characterises it, and how to set up a Tasks round of research.

Table of Contents

How does Tasks differ from from SelfTest?

While both SelfTest and Tasks are unmoderated rounds research, a SelfTest round only allows for a single URL and set of instructions. In comparison, a Tasks round allows you to:

  • Set a Scenario for your unmoderated session in more detail to help set the mood and intent for your test, thereby helping your participant get into the desired mindset before the participant starts completing the tasks.

  • Itemize your research so that participants complete each task in sequence. In other words, they will have to complete one task to be able to continue to the next one.

  • Set different auto-open URLs (website, prototype, survey etc) for each task as well as specify task-specific instructions. The instructions field also allows you to list additional urls if needed.

All in all, Tasks is a research product that gives you a smooth participant experience and intuitive transitions from one task to the next, a feature that is especially handy for participants using mobile devices.

What type of research is Tasks intended for?

Tasks is good for traditional usage, unmoderated usability testing of websites, prototypes or native apps, when:

  • the participant doesn't have to see all instructions/links in advance, or if it's beneficial for the participant to follow instructions one-step-at-a-time for some other reason, and you want the participant to do one discrete question or task at a time

  • you have 5–8 questions/tasks that require sequenced focus

  • you need to include multiple URLs (websites, prototypes, surveys)

  • you have distinct questions that require a simple response

  • you encourage 'speak aloud' perspectives e.g. preference testing

How to create a Tasks Round

1) If you already have a Project created, you can skip to step 2. Otherwise, start by clicking the + New Project on your dashboard

2) Click the ➕ (plus) icon next to Rounds to create your new Round

3) Select Tasks

Round Settings

🚀 At any point during the Round setup, you can click the Save button at the top right to save your progress. If you need to leave and come back later, you'll be able to pick up right where you left off.

4) Add a Round Name & Description

  • Enter a Round name (required) and Description (optional). The description is just for you and your team – your participants will not see it. It may seem unnecessary to add a description, adding a description to your rounds can be helpful when you later need to organize your work.

5) Set the Localisation language (Optional)

  • The Participate apps for mobile & our desktop experience support several native languages. You can learn more about that (link).​

6) Set the Transcription language (required)

  • This is the language that your participant will be speaking. It will help ensure the most accurate transcriptions.

7) Device requirements (optional) use this option if you want to limit your participant to using a particular type of device; only check the device types you want to be available to your participants. You can also choose to disable the Extension-free Beta (enabled on all new rounds by default)

8) Hide controls on Mobile browsers (optional) - when selected, we will attempt to hide the navigation and address controls on mobile browsers to better simulate a full-screen experience (especially useful when testing mobile prototypes).

9) Participant camera

  1. Optional. The participant can choose whether or not they want to enable the camera for their session. They will not be able to change it once the session has started.

  2. Required. A camera must be selected before starting the session.

  3. Disabled. The participant will not be given the option to use their camera

10) Session Limit (optional) - sometimes it's helpful to over-recruit participants for a study because life happens and sometimes participants sign up but don't show up. By setting the session limit, you can invite as many people as you want but only the first X participants will be able to do the study. For example: if you set the limit to 10 and invite 20 people, only the first 10 people who do the study will be able to complete it. Anyone after that will get a message that the study is no longer available.

11) Click the Next button at the lower left to save your progress and proceed

Test Setup

12) Set the Welcome Message (optional) for participants

  • This is shown to the participants before they start a session and allows you to explain the context of the session, add links to external consent forms, and add any explanations needed to help your participant through setup & instructions

13) Set the Scenario (required)

  • This is what the participant will see after they finish their entire setup

  • As mentioned in the introduction of this help article, it helps set the stage for the participant before they actually start the test

  • You can optionally add an auto-open URL and direct participants to a website or prototype

14) Task Order (optional) If you want each participant to get the tasks in a random order, enable the Randomise option

15) Add the individual Tasks (it's not required to add any tasks, but if you do, the Task text will be required)

  • Start by clicking the + Add task button to add your first task

  • The Task text/instructions section is required

  • You can create as many tasks as you want the participant to carry out.

  • The tasks will be presented one at a time – progression to the next task when the previous one is completed. The first task will be shown after the participant has read the Scenario and clicked Begin.

  • Optional: Each task can have it's own, unique auto-open URLs so the participant will automatically immediately see the desired website/prototype/survey when a task begins.

🚀 If you are using our extension-free beta and testing on desktops, you may want to consider using markdown formatting to add a reminder for the participants in each task not to close the small window as it could result in them having to redo some steps. If your participants will be using mobile device or a mix of mobile and desktop, we would not recommend adding this notice.

For example, if you format it like this in your round:

This is what the participant will see in that window:

16) Add a Final Message (optional) for participants

  • This message is shown to Participants after they have completed the final task of the session.

  • It allows you to thank the participant for his/her time and/or add links to an external (post-session) survey.

🚀 Format the text in your Welcome/Final message, using Markdown!

17) Click the Next button at the lower left to save your progress and proceed

Invite Participants

18) Click Copy link to copy the Participant Link. This will be use for participants to start the session. You'll send the same link to all participants in the same round.

🚀 If you don't want to copy the Participant Link at this time, you can always get it later from the Round page in the dashboard

19) Click the Next button at the lower left to save your progress and proceed

Observer Lobby

20) Select the option you want for the Observer Lobby

  • Organisation members only: they will need to have a user account associated with your Lookback organisation. This option is recommended if all of your observers are colleagues/employees at the same company. Please note: as our Freelance plans only have 1 user account, this option will be disabled for those plans.

  • Anyone with the link can enter: they do not need to have a Lookback user account to access the Lobby. This option is recommended if you are inviting external stakeholders to your sessions and don't want to add them to your Lookback organisation.

21) Click Copy link to copy the Observer Lobby Link. This will be sent to your observers so they can access any live sessions in the round as well as any previously recorded sessions that have finished.

🚀 If you don't want to copy the Observer Lobby Link at this time, you can always get it later from the Round page in the dashboard

22) (Optional) If you'd like to test out your setup before going live with participants, click on the Preview Session link at the top right & copy the link. To learn more about how Preview Sessions work, please see this help article (link).

23) Click the Done button in the lower left corner to save your settings

  • That's it! You'll now be taken back to the Round page of the project where you can edit the round and find the Participant & Observer Lobby links.

Final notes

  • Like all round types, once your participant completes a session, you will find the recording in the relevant Round in your project

  • When you're in Playback mode, you will be able to clearly see when your Participant transitions from one Task to the next on your timeline, to help with faster synthesis.

  • You can also increase playback speed, take time-stamped notes, @mention team members in your notes and create Findings as usual.

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