- Using Power Structure and Gestalt for Visual Hierarchy (by Shawn Borsky) - ...success is more than just what you see: it’s in the planning, structure, approach, and execution.
- A Comprehensive Guide Inside Your (by Alexander Dawson) - talking about SEO... this is a fine summary useful for any website developer.
- 20+ New Apps and Websites for Designers Sep. 2010 (by Cameron Chapman) - is this really happening? Hard to keep up with all the good stuff...
- Picking the Right Tool for your Remote User Testing (by Matt Milosavljevic) - Matt mentions some really useful links in here.
- Helvetica Joins the Web Font Revolution (by Christina Warren) - get 2000 fonts and 25k page views for free - nice for most smaller projects.
- 10 Usability Tips Based on Research Studies (by Cameron Chapman) - essential read!! Go and check it out, will help you argue in your next design discussion!
- Debunking the Myths of Remote Usability Studies (by Corrie Kwan, Jin Li, and May Wong) - some myths might seem obvious, but others - drawn from first-hand experience - are not. Anyway, lot's of good advise to be considered.
- How to Communicate With Your Clients (by Joel Reyes) - In short: Listen, Ask, Consult, Respect, Reason
- Beginner’s Guide to SEO: Best Practices – Part 3/3, Part 2/3, Part 1/3 (by hongkiat) - Search Engine Optimization is a must in all our toolboxes. Excellent three-part tutorial, thx!
- 250 Quick Web Design Tips (Part 2) (Part 1) (by Alexander Dawson) - about Browsers, Styles, Techniques, Marketing and all other good stuff.
- Agile UX and The One Change That Changes Everything (by Anders Ramsay) - Start Building Earlier through Rapid and Rich Communication and Just-in-Time Detail.
As always, send me your link or mention it in the comments. Anything related to this blog is much appreciated by all of us. Thanks!
No doubt, user testing increases the usability and acceptance of your website and can/should be done as early as possible, preferably during Prototyping.
The following blog entry discusses the advantages & disadvantages of remote user testing, describes time estimates & costs and explains how a session looks like using Techsmith's UserVue.
- Reduced (or no) travel time and expenses.
- Higher exposure through easy screen sharing (managers can sneak in easily).
- Actual user environment, familiar and comfortable.
- Possibly fewer drop-outs.
- Facilitator not physically present (degree of separation can be challenging).
- Can't see facial expressions or non-verbal cues.
- Difficult to build rapport and trust.
- Difficult to control environment.
- Possibly technical difficulties (firewall, etc.).
- Setup and use of software or usability lab might be challenging and requires a liaison.
Time estimates & Costs
The following time estimates are to be taken with a grain of salt, they can change significantly up or down depending on the project size, experience of the team and infrastructure.
- Preparation (18 hours)
- User screening: 8 hours
- Task creation: 8 hours
- Environment: 2 hours
- User testing (10 hours)
- 2 hours per user
- 5 users per round
- Post-test (32 hours)
- Test report: 16 hours
- Implementation: 12 hours
- Communication: 4 hours
Summary: Our Time
1 Round = 60 hours
2 Rounds = 110 hrs.
3 Rounds = 160 hrs.
+ User comps
+ Time additional observers
How it works
UserVue is a Remote user testing software that enables a Facilitator to remotely observe a Participant using a phone line for communication. Multiple Observers can passively join the Session and share their observations with the Facilitator.
Morae Manager uses the collected data (observation markers and notes, video, keyboard and mouse inputs) to analyze and calculate task times, error quotes and other common measurements.
A Session is initiated by the Facilitator. Invitation emails are being sent to the Participant and Observer(s).
At the announced time all the involved parties need to download a small software bundle that allows them to connect to the UserVue software. The Facilitator then calls the Participant and gives instructions on how to start the Session.
After the session has ended the installed software bundle will be removed from computers of the involved parties.
Microsoft Windows 2000 and Windows XP or later version of Windows.
Internet Explorer 5.0 or later, Firefox 1.0 or later.
All communication with the UserVue Web site is performed over an encrypted Secure Sockets Layer transport mechanism (HTTPS). All session data is encrypted with a 128-bit Blowfish cipher as it is sent over the network.
Can anyone "eavesdrop" on my session?
All session data (including audio, video, chat data, etc.) is encrypted with a 128-bit Blowfish cipher as it is sent over the network. This makes it exceedingly difficult for anyone to intercept and observe session data.
Are copies of my session data stored anywhere?
No copies of session data are stored on any server. The only recording happens directly on the facilitator's computer. Session data may pass through TechSmith's servers to facilitate firewall and NAT traversal. However, this data is never stored. Also, this data is undecipherable as it is in an encrypted form as it passes through TechSmith's servers.
What are your experiences with Remote User Testing?
- Bolt, N.; Guide to Remote Usability Testing; http://www.ok-cancel.com/archives/article/2006/07/guide-to-remote-usability-testing.html
- Gough, D., Phillips, H.; Remote Online Usability Testing: Why, How, and When to Use It; http://www.boxesandarrows.com/view/remote_online_usability_testing_why_how_and_when_to_use_it