User Experience Design · User-testing

Usability-Testing Software

Peter Swearengen Director of Product Strategy at Originate

May 28th, 2014

We would like to record some early usability tests which include both screen and user (face/hands) and potentially other metrics as well (clicks, mouse-tracking). We'd like to avoid hiring a pro testing manager (nothing against the profession) and instead build this capability in house.
Has anyone a strong recommendation for or against off-the-shelf utilities, like Morae or Silverback?

Jeff Axup Sr. Manager, Palo Alto UX Design Research Group at Bosch

May 29th, 2014

Morae is good but expensive (we used it at my last company), also heard good things about Silverback.
If you are going to be doing testing yourself I would strongly encourage you to start low-fidelity before moving to high-fidelity. Timing and metrics aren't necessarily useful unless you know the underlying causes for them. 
You can do basic paper prototype testing for very cheap and it's often faster as well.
Also, the online testing (usertesting.com) might be simpler depending on the type of product.
Also definitely check out Balsamiq for prototyping.

Anonymous

May 29th, 2014

Hi Peter, I'm not sure how much experience your team has with running user testing, but sometimes a little help from a pure expert goes a long way.  When it comes to usabiilty, sometimes a little knowledge hurts a lot because there's so much you can inadvertently say or do that primes the test participant or otherwise distorts true behavior.  This often leads to the wrong observations and leads you in entirely the wrong direction.  I've seen some horrible outcomes from user testing.

Even if you hire someone for 1-2 hours to look over your approach and/or script, it can make all the difference.  Again, I don't know the background of your team and you may have some HCI wizards, but I thought I'd share just in case this wasn't the case.

Good luck with whatever you decide!

Best,
Julie

Peter Swearengen Director of Product Strategy at Originate

May 29th, 2014

That's useful, thanks. We are well-past paper prototype and are really about to enter a friends and family beta. We have folks in-house with prior experience running user testing, but with more resources than a startup =) The idea is to have some additional, controlled, testing in parallel with the small launch, to corroborate the feedback we get from first-time users. Silverback's website says they are rebuilding their product after Apple disabled their method of accessing the built-in camera. We'll probably go with that product for the price unless someone tells us using the external camera is a fail.

Siarhei Harbachou Looking around

October 31st, 2016

You can try to search cheap testers on "monkey job" sites.
sometimes their job costs 1$ per hour.

Viktor Dmytrenko Digital Marketing Manager at Ubertesters

October 31st, 2016

You could try Ubertesters. We provide the following types of testing:
- Usability testing 
- Load testing 
- Localization testing 
- Functional testing and much more