Cheap and fast usability testing

    Today I want to dispel the myth that usability is expensive and difficult, and also introduce a new usability testing crowdsourcing service: usertest.ru . Many usability testing companies write about the process as something requiring special knowledge not subject to mere mortals. People who conduct tests are called “experts”. A lot of attention is paid to special equipment (recording the user's face, tracking the movement of the pupils), as if testing can only be done in laboratories. It is not surprising that the price tags for such services are measured in tens and hundreds of thousands. I already feel the stones, rakes and torches of usability professionals flying into me, but if you are not Amazon, you do not need such costs, even despite the justification of high prices through ROI calculations (



    here , here or just google ). Almost the same effect can be obtained with a much smaller budget.


    How to organize effective usability testing.


    Already, comrade Stephen Krug, in his book “Do not Make Me Think,” began to advocate budget usability tests. “At first, such testing was very expensive. This required a special laboratory with an observation room and mirror glass and at least two video cameras ... In order to obtain statistically reliable results, it was necessary to involve many subjects in such tests. It was a whole science. The cost of one such testing ranged from 20 to 50 thousand dollars. ” Instead, the Circle simply offers to invite any users and watch how they use the product. “Take anyone and guess from it about your entire audience ... The usual fee for a one-hour test varies between $ 50 for“ average ”users and several hundred dollars for specialists, for example,

    Usability Testing Crowdsourcing


    Since the writing of the book, progress has not stood still, and now virtually the same thing can be organized through crowdsourcing usability testing. The approach that we use on usertest.ru is really simple and consists in the following.
    • A customer who wants to conduct usability testing describes the tasks and behavior scenario.
    • The task is sent to all active tester users.
    • The user who takes the work, executes the instructions written by the client. In this case, a recording (screencast) of what is happening on the screen of the tester and its oral comments takes place.
    • The client has the opportunity to ask any questions that interest him to the user.
    In essence, this process is no different from what is carried out in specially equipped laboratories for usability testing. Yes, you will not be able to track eye movements and project attention zones on your interface. But you still find those main problem areas that are responsible for 95% of lost profits.

    Many teams postpone usability testing to later stages of the project in order to reduce initial costs, when it becomes more or less clear whether the project will take off or not. In reality, the effect of saving from testing is greater, the earlier it was carried out (more details by Nielsen) I hope that the ability to conduct usability tests on a budget will allow more projects to test usability in the early stages. And this, in turn, will save a lot of human nerves and time.

    PS By the way, anyone can become a tester with us. To do this, it is enough to do a trial job .

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