Today I got Steve Krug’s e-Newsletter Don’t Make Me Think – Update #19. In it he recommends trying out UserTesting.com’s services, so I decided to take a gander.
UserTesting.com offers simplistic usability testing at a fraction of the cost of typical agencies. To get the process started they simply ask you write out instructions on what tasks you would like the tester to perform as well as what demographic–if any–you prefer. You then pay a measly $29 and wait. But not for that long. In fact I submitted the request at 9:44am and the test was completed at 10:20am and that was with a 15 minute review of my site.
After the test is done they send you a video and a quick write up of the results. The video is of the screen while the user performs the task and a voice over of them describing what they are thinking while they are doing it.
I was beyond impressed with the results. It was no wonder Amazon.com has selected them as a finalist in the Startup Competition. Based on the results I was able to pick up on about five usability flaws in our site. I am very excited to fix them and test it again, and of course I’ll keep you posted.
I also liked how I got to rate how useful I found the video and the “satisfaction or your money back” guarantee. These little touches made me feel like the company had my best interests in mind.
- Conducting the test was super easy
- The video was great
- The site review was a great summary
- Usertesting.com’s usability was amazing: accessing the videos, organization of tests etc.
- I believe that a “how to interpret the results” page would be most beneficial; a sort-of a usability testing best practice guide:
- it could serve as a reminder that although it is nice to hear the testers opinions, their actions are the most important
- you are looking for what they want, not what they think they want
- A way to export the video into an AVI format would be helpful