Usability testing has been a fundamental tool in the UX arsenal for decades now. The value of actually meeting your customers and letting them experience your product makes a significant impact to the shape of that product. In it’s most formal version, testing can be a multi-day, multi-thousand $/€ process that delivers final analysis days if not weeks later. With many organizations moving to an Agile philosophy and methodology, UX practitioners are finding it difficult to integrate formal usability testing into this faster-paced, iterative approach to software development.
Category Archives: How-tos
Lets dish out some quick ways to test and improve your product. Long tests with a lot of tasks certainly can have their place (for example in the early stages of a design). However, many of our customers are improving their website by running multiple, recurring, and short tests.
Recurring tests are easy to setup and manage. They are of the ‘set and forget’ type. Participating only takes a couple of minutes and is fun to do. It’s also a good example of agile design: small improvements can be made to the existing product quickly. Can’t you just taste the low hanging fruit?
On to the examples!
Automated remote usability testing is a very simple and efficient way to gather feedback on digital interfaces – if done correctly. When you do usability testing automated AND remotely, it’s good to keep in mind that the participant is missing some common communication channels. You ask participants for feedback, but you can’t see their faces, while your participants can’t ask any questions to express discomfort or uncertainty. When you’re aware of these limitations you’re able to compensate for it by carefully designing your test questions.
There are many many online tools out there that help you test and improve almost any aspect of your website. It can be very convenient to not only look at these tools separately, but to combine their advantages into one single test. Matthew Niederberger, a specialist when it comes to online optimization, shares his experience with such an ‘hybrid’ test case on his blog actualinsights.com. We are very happy to get some great insights about how Matthew set up a complete usabillity test in only three hours combining Usabilla with Wufoo, Kampyle, and Mailchimp. Aim of the test was to find out about users preferences for different design variations.
Usabilla offers quick visual feedback, but in some cases you might want to collect additional feedback from your participants or just some demographic data by conducting a traditional survey. There are plenty of wonderful survey tools out there that make your life easier (e.g SurveyGizmo, Wufoo, Polldady), and now we’ve released a new feature that allows you to seamlessly combine a Usabilla test with one of these tools.>
To introduce the feature we’ve created a demo case. Lets assume that a university wants to know what its students think of the faculty’s homepage (universities love surveys!). So, they create a Usabilla test to get specific feedback on the homepage and a SurveyGizmo survey to get more generic feedback including some demographics of the users.
How to combine the two surveys in one?
Read the rest of this entry »
The standard Usabilla widget is a useful tool to invite your visitors to participate in one of your tests. Thanks to the kind tip of one of our users you can now also use a new widget to set up a quick A/B/n test in Usabilla! Use this widget to invite your users to participate in a random test out of two or more of your Usabilla tests. You just specify which tests to use and every time the widget pops up, we randomly select one of these tests. With this simple widget you can set up a A/B/n Usabilla test for any webpage, image, or sketch in just a few minutes.
We’ve just updated the standard widget you can use to promote your visual surveys. If you embed this widget (optional) on your website it will be visible in the bottom right corner and looks like this:
Read the rest of this entry to see a live example and learn how to customize this widget.
Not so long ago we’ve added ‘custom variables’ to our tests. We store every variable you specify in the URL of your test and include these variables and an unique participant id (pid) in your redirect URL. That might sound a bit complicated, but enables you to store additional data for individual participants in Usabilla and to pass through data to other services as well. Let me try to explain with a simple example using a web form to submit data to a Usabilla test:
A simple web form
You can submit a simple web form to a Usabilla test. If you use ‘GET’ as method, the fields in your form are submitted as URL encoded variables. Example:
<form method="get" id="screener" name="screener" action="http://usabilla.com/rate/15927259904cb5afe7f3c00"> <label for="name">Name:</label> <input id="name" name="name" type="text" /> <label for="group">Group:</label> <select id="group" name="group"> <option value="A">A</option> <option value="B">B</option> </select> <input type="submit" value="Submit" /> </form>
This example form submits two variables (name and group) to a Usabilla test. The form input is stored together with the test data of your participant. At the end of the test the variables will also be attached to the redirect URL. This redirect URL could be another survey as well: read about combining Usabilla with a PollDaddy survey.
Last week we silently released the first version of our API. Sido explained our new XML export options and the new API key in his last blogpost. In short: we’ve implemented two new XML export options. You can use these exports to create XML files with the content of your test and the results of your test. We built this feature as a first step in opening up Usabilla and to make the data you collect in Usabilla accessible in any other tool. To demonstrate some of the possibilities with these new feeds, I’ve created a Google Spreadsheet that imports test results. In this post I will explain step by step how this Spreadsheet works and how you can build your own.
It has been a while since we sent out an update about Usabilla. In the past months 4500 users ran hundreds of interesting tests with an incredible number of participants, we fixed many small bugs and tweaks, released new features, made big steps in scalability, and expanded our team with a very skilled developer (Say hi to Sido). In this update we want to share some interesting updates