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Wikimedia Research/Design Research/Remote Usability Session Recording Process

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Prior to September 12, 2016, Design Researchers at the Wikimedia Foundation used Google Hangouts On Air to record remote user research/usability sessions.

Note: To record Wikimedia Research sessions, you must have admin credentials for the Wikimedia Foundation Design Research YouTube Live account .

Quick setup a recording session (with Hangouts)[edit]

Use this method if you just want to record a session the "old" way (i.e. the way we did it on Google Hangouts on Air).

Below are instructions on how to set up a Hangout on Air on YouTube Live:

  1. Log into Youtube.com under the Wikimedia Research account
  2. go to https://www.youtube.com/live_dashboard
  3. Under "Creator Studio" (left hand nav), select Live Streaming > Events ( https://www.youtube.com/my_live_events )
  4. Click New live event (upper right)
  5. Select Quick (using Google Hangouts On Air).
  6. Give your live stream a title.
  7. Set sharing preferences (Private or Unlisted)
  8. Click Go live now or enter in details to schedule your event for later.
  9. Use Hangouts to broadcast live.
  10. Invite participant to join

Alternate method (without Hangouts)[edit]

This article outlines an alternative to using Hangouts on Air. Advantage of using this method:

  • Doesn't rely on Hangouts: if a participant wants to talk over (Skype, Facetime, meet.Jit.si, etc) we can accommodate them. Researcher can select whatever application they are using to interact with the participant and stream audio and video to youtube live and recordings will end up in Youtube.
  • capture happens on your own computer (via OBS), so you can store recordings locally and then not have to download from Youtube.
  • if something crashes, it is easier to keep going.
  • easier to capture multiple windows (or your full desktop)

One-Time Only: Set Up OBS Encoding Software[edit]

Before you can use this method to stream on YouTube, you need to download encoding software. You can find open source streaming software here: https://obsproject.com ; these instructions assume that you will be using OBS Studio, but there are plenty of other options out there.

Encoding software allows you to capture content, including your desktop, camera, microphone, and more, and send it to YouTube Live to be streamed.

Once you have downloaded the OBS encoder, you will need to do the following with it:

  1. Under Preferences —> Stream —> Stream Type, select “Streaming Services"
  2. Under Preferences —> Stream —> Service, select “YouTube/YouTube Gaming”
  3. Under Preferences —> Stream —> Stream key, type the key provided at https://www.youtube.com/live_dashboard —> Encoder Setup (a card at the bottom of the page) —> Stream name/key.
  4. Under Preferences —> Output —> Recording Path, change the local path to a folder named “Research Sessions” or something else that you’d like to name your local copies of recorded sessions.
  5. Under Preferences —> Output —> Recording Format, change the format to mp4.
  6. Click “OK”. You’re now set up to both broadcast and record streaming sessions! Read on for instructions on recording and broadcasting.

Each Time A Session Occurs[edit]

To record a user research session, use Google Hangouts/Skype/desired video meeting service in conjunction with the streaming software and the YouTube Live interface. If you are using the open-source OBS software, follow these steps:

Set up the view that you want to record:[edit]

1. Under the black recording screen, set up OBS to display/record your entire desktop by selecting Sources —> “+” —> Display Capture. Or, set up OBS to display/record one specific window by selecting Sources —> “+” —> Window Capture.

2. The recording screen should now reflect the screen you are wanting to record/broadcast.

3. Set up the broadcast at https://www.youtube.com/live_dashboard. All you need to do here is fill out the information under the "Basic Info" tab such as Title, description (if desired), etc. Set Privacy to "Private." Note: the info from the previous session will likely still be showing in this section. It's ok to overwrite it: it won't change the previous session's metadata.

4. Start the Google Hangout/Skype/other video meeting service you wish to record with. It should show up in the OBS main screen that you just set up. Almost there!

When you’re all set up and ready to record and broadcast the session:[edit]

Once the research participant has joined the meeting, it's time to start recording.

You can give other researchers (notetakers, observers, etc) the link to your Stream, which is located at the bottom-right of the live dashboard. It's not necessary to give this link to the participant, since they can see you in the meeting.

In OBS, Click the “Start Streaming” and the “Start Recording” buttons on the right side of the OBS window under the display screen. This is now a live session, and should show a green “ONLINE” status at the top of your live dashboard.

Now you're ready to complete your research session!

When you're done recording/broadcasting the session[edit]

Once your participant has left and you're done recording, click the "Stop Streaming" and "Stop Recording" buttons in OBS. You now have a copy online in the YouTube account at your channel as well as a local backup of this session.

See also[edit]