What is Video Conferencing?

Videoconferencing (VC) is the conduct of a videoconference by a set of telecommunication technologies that allow two or more locations to communicate by simultaneous two-way video and audio transmissions. It has also been called ‘visual collaboration’ and is a type of groupware. Videoconferencing differs from videophone calls in that it’s designed to serve a conference or multiple locations rather than individuals. It is an intermediate form of videotelephony, first used commercially in Germany during the late-1930s and later in the United States during the early 1970s as part of AT&T’s development of Picturephone technology. With the introduction of relatively low-cost, high-capacity broadband telecommunication services in the late 1990s, coupled with powerful computing processors and video compression techniques, videoconferencing has made significant inroads in business, education, medicine, and media. Like all long-distance communications technologies (such as phone and Internet), by reducing the need to travel, which is often carried out by airplane, to bring people together, the technology also contributes to reductions in carbon emissions, thereby helping to reduce global warming.

How is Video Conferencing used in UX Research?

Video conferencing is a popular tool used in UX research because it allows researchers to conduct interviews and user testing sessions remotely. This can be especially useful for conducting research with participants in different parts of the world.

During a video conference, a researcher can use the same methods and techniques in a face-to-face interview or user testing sessions, such as asking open-ended questions, observing participants’ body language and facial expressions, and taking notes on their responses and behaviors.

One of the benefits of using video conferencing in UX research is that it can save time and money by eliminating the need for researchers and participants to travel to a physical location. It can also provide a more comfortable and convenient experience for participants, as they can participate in the research from the comfort of their own homes or office.

Another advantage of video conferencing in UX research is that it allows researchers to record the session for later analysis. This can be especially useful for usability testing, as it allows researchers to review the recordings and look for patterns and trends in participants’ behaviors and responses.

Tips for using Video Conference in UX

Here are a few tips for using video conferencing in UX research:

  1. Test the video conferencing technology beforehand to ensure that it is working properly and that you are familiar with all of its features and functions.
  2. Set up the video conference in a quiet and well-lit location with a clean and uncluttered background.
  3. Make sure that all participants have a good internet connection and are using a device with a camera and microphone.
  4. Use a headset or headphones with a microphone to reduce background noise and improve audio quality.
  5. Provide clear instructions to participants on how to join the video conference and what they can expect during the session.
  6. Use visual aids and screen sharing to help participants understand and interact with the research materials.
  7. Be attentive and responsive to participants during the video conference, and be prepared to adjust the session as needed based on their feedback and responses.
  8. Record the video conference for later review and analysis, but obtain participants’ consent beforehand.