User Experience Design · User Interface Design

Best tool for simple software prototype user feedback?

Temirlan Nugmanov Founder | Student | A Kid With Big Dreams

June 17th, 2016

I am finishing up a prototype of a web app using Sketch and InVision. I am planning to send it out to a number of potential users with whom I am already in touch but I am not sure of the best way for them to make comments or indicate changes. They are generally not very tech-savy and work in a very time-sensitive environment. 

Should I go for a screen recording and embed into an email or should I invite each member to try the clickable InVision (which gives full access to editing as well)?  

Need to determine the best way to make commenting for users and collecting feedback for me simple. 

I would really appreciate some advice for anyone!
You have an idea. Now it’s time to turn it into a brilliant and beautiful product. In this course, you’ll learn specialized tactics to study your user, create testable wireframes, and transform them into fully functioning features and products.

Chicke Fitzgerald

June 17th, 2016

Personally I would invest the time to do the review one on one using screen sharing and getting real time feedback, recording the session if need be (and if they give permission).  That builds relationship and I think you will have a much better chance of getting the right feedback and have them as potential customers as you address their concerns and incorporate their ideas.  It is rare for anyone to care enough about your product to actually document their comments in a way that is useful.

You can use a service like UserTesting.com (for a fee) that will get recorded, narrative feedback from testers, even of a prototype.  

Ken Sigel Associate Creative Director, Experience Design at SapientNitro

June 17th, 2016

I would recommend sitting with as many people 1:1 and observe them using the prototype. Blasting out the prototype is going to likely have such a low response rate as to be almost useless, plus you're putting the onus of capturing feedback on the user, rather than taking it on yourself. That's doubly so if the users work in a time-sensitive environment and are not very tech-savvy.

The best insights I find in user testing come from observing the user, so relying on people to add their feedback to the InVision app would miss out on that.

Rill Hodari

June 18th, 2016

As a market researcher and a founder of a non-research digital startup I would recommend both conducting some in-person interviews yourself with some potential users just to get some first hand experience with your user population but then step back and at least get advice from a real market researcher on a study design in terms of sample sourcing, interview guide design as well as any survey design.  There are many DIY research tools that you can use to manage costs but if you don't have research design expertise, you will not know the design errors you might make and the results you get may suffer.  Good research is not a relationship building opportunity and it is not a marketing opportunity.  It is a learning exercise and that is why it is best executed at arms length from you and your team but certainly witnessed by you, if that makes sense.  I am a research mentor at the Chicago startup workspace 1871 so shoot me an email if you have more questions about research (rillhodari@hotmail.com).

Sarah Calandro Senior UX Designer for Amazon Business at Amazon

June 17th, 2016

If I were in your position I would get on the phone or video with them (or in person if possible) and have them verbalize their feedback while I take the notes for them.If you do this, it would be much easier on them and give you much richer feedback. Plus - you can ask them further questions that you won't be able to ask if you leave them to the commenting. Sarah

Douglas van Duyne

June 17th, 2016

To add to what others are saying:

You're looking to quickly design, test, and iterate as quickly as possible. Your goal is to find and fix as many design issues as possible before development. When you've validated all your customers can go through your product, and not only can use it, they understand it, and they love it, you know your design is ready to begin coding. By doing this during the design phase, you'll save 10x what you'd spend fixing design issues during development, and 100x what you'd spend fixing those issues once launched.

Specific steps:
1. Make your prototype clickable in InVision using their hotspot tool in Build Mode
2. Develop a screener to ensure your potential users match your target profile, and give you some background on their technical skill level, and relevant skills related to your product. You can use Google Forms for free.
3. Create script outline to include putting customer at ease by letting them know the app is being tested, not her. Ask for honest feedback, you're not going to be hurt. Ask her to "think aloud". Give her tasks to perform and watch what they do, telling you what she's thinking. You're looking for behavior, not opinions. Be prepared to take notes on your script, so you can document your research. 
4. Once recruited, connect to potential customers through WebEx, GotoMeeting, or JoinMe to share screens
5. Follow script, asking customer to "say more" and remind to "think aloud". You're not there to tell her she's doing well or not, you're there to listen and learn what works, what's confusing, and what areas of your app need refinement.
  
And have fun!!!

Jeff Gartner Marketing and Community Researcher

June 19th, 2016

Definitely take the time to do 1:1 in-depth interviews via screen sharing, so you can probe with relevant questions and receive much richer feedback. You can even record these interviews with something such as Adobe Connect. You don't need to do that many, just enough to learn and confirm.

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June 21st, 2016

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John Head Adobe Speaker on Publishing, Adobe Community Champion, Author on SEO and Web Marketing

June 17th, 2016

You can embed videos in PDF with means to make comments when ever you pause video - links to timecode of video. John Head - ACE, ACP, Adobe Enterprise Partner jhead@me.com 512-656-8384 Cell Retired from

Miloš Žikić Technology Executive. Entrepreneur

June 17th, 2016

Hi Temirlan, Doing user testing early is very valuable. You can start even with the wireframes. I can recommend a tool like https://konceptapp.com/. It allows you to create interactive prototypes and analyze user behaviour. Giving tasks is a great feature, it helps the user focus on the task you want him to execute and you can measure the time it took to finish it, how many clicks it took him.. This should not be replacement for in person testing, but will allow you to gather more feedback quickly. Best, Milos

Anonymous

June 17th, 2016

I have had good luck with redpen.io - anyone can comment directly on elements in the design and it is simple enough for non techies.