Usability and UX Research II – online usability testing

Unmoderated usability testing online with User Testing and whatusersdo

Myself and my colleague Sinead recently tried out these online usability testing tools.   We were impressed; we found them easy to use, reliable and cheap!

After a simple sign up process and setting up a simple test, completed videos come back almost overnight. These are videos of screen recordings showing you what panelists do as they navigate through the task and a commentary of what they are thinking while they do it.

user testing logowhat users do

User who?

The one concern I might have is the lack of control I had over panel selection. You can ask one screening question but it is very limited and panelists can self-select. The panel who took part in our tests were mixed – some were good and other not so good. You can rate panelists and there are options to get your own customers involved but I believe its gets a bit more complicated and expensive then.

For desktop testing, both companies have a large number of panelists to choose from and customers can rate panelists based on their performance. For mobile testing in the UK, whatusersdo have the edge on User Testing have a larger panel of mobile testers, which User Testing are currently growing.

How?

Both solutions allow you to view videos, annotate and create clips of user behaviour. We found the video editing and sharing capabilities of User Testing better and easier to create highlight reels from. A feature that whatusersdo in still in beta. User testing also gives you the opportunity for one follow up question with panellists.

Overall, both tools worked very well for general or straightforward usability tasks such as registration and tasks that we did not need our own customers feedback.

Nor have tried how this works for prototypes.

Do

  • Run a pilot test or two beforehand help you shape tasks to ensure you get the information you are looking for in the follow test
  • Be clear on what you are looking to test and keep tasks clear and uncomplicated; this helps both your participants perform correct tasks and helps you focus on important data when analysing videos after (can take a while to go through!)
  • Use these tools to test competitor products

Resources:

List of Remote Usability and UX Research Tools:

Loop11  Online 101 usability videos 

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