Day Ten: Panels

Today I went to two panels at SuperNova South:

  • How things go wrong when UX professionals fall in love with just one UX technique
  • Women in UX

Some things I learned:

  • uxmentors.com exists
  • usertesting.com exists
  • "popcorn testing" describes a method of testing a prototype with customers in the wild, ambush-style in a short window of time
  • how we design a test may threaten the integrity of our results

I was pretty intrigued by the mention of usertesting.com, so I took some time tonight to give a try.

Creating a user test

I filled out a simple text input field for a website URL to test and clicked a button that said 'Get a free, 5 minute video.'

This directed me to a landing page form for a free trial account. I sent them my name, work email, a phone number (555-555-5555, because please don't call me), and a password for the trial account.

Within an hour I received an email with a link to initial test results that included:

  • a 5-minute video with audio of a test user's initial impressions of and interactions with the site
  • answers to some survey questions (scale of 1-10) about impressions, difficulty, and whether or not the test user would recommend this site to a friend
  • some basic information about the test user's demographics and technical systems

usertesting

The test user expressed some frustrations with the site:

  • too much content, too wordy
  • hard to figure out what the company did or what they offered

and some favorable reactions:

  • they liked the ever-present 'start trial' call-to-action buttons
  • they liked the company logos for social-proof on the homepage

While the frustrations echoed my own concerns about the site, the test user reacted favorably to two features that I personally find a bit salesy or off-putting. #youarenotyouruser.com

Seeing the initial results from this test got my brain spinning thinking about how much more valuable this type of service for research could be with more results from a targeted set of test users answering a more focused set of questions.