I wanted to follow up with this blog post on the previous post from Ben. On Wednesday he surveyed many different website user-testing tools to find the best tools to use for his coffee shop website project.
Today I’m going to take a closer look at the tools he chose: Feng-GUI, Inspectlet, and Usabilla.
This service analyzes images and generates a heat map based on an algorithm that mimics the human eye and human attention.
I agree with Ben that it is worth a try. The price is certainly reasonable and the heat maps it generates could provide actionable data.
I did a sample analysis of the front page of a website I have been working on recently. When I look at the results (above), I’m inspired by all of the questions it begs. Do the in site’s web analytics support or refute this heat map? What would happen if we had used a different pictures in the sidebar? Why is the most eye-catching thing on the page that particular image? Is it due to something in the image or the position of the image on the page? And so on…
As a researcher and a scientist, I love asking questions. It’s where the magic of the whole user-testing process takes place. Feng-GUI provides a constructive way to approach the conversation surrounding a particular design.
Inspectlet is a tool that offers website owners to record their visitor Mouse movements, click heatmaps and real-time analytics.
They provide a demo of the recorded visitor mouse movements. I did this and it’s actually very good. I can see where it would be useful. The click heatmaps are interesting to me because they show more than what I use currently which is Google Analytics. For instance, you can record clicks in non-link areas. Google Analytics will only record clicks on INTERNAL links.
And, lastly, the real-time tracking is also an intriguing relative to Google Analytics, which doesn’t provide real-time tracking.
I definitely don’t want to set up Google Analytics as standard for these user testing services. it is simply because I’m familiar with Google analytics.
It’s a remote online testing tool that allows you to question users as they review your design. You can enter a URL of a webpage or upload a graphic.
It comes with predefined questions or tasks such as:
- Click on the most appealing images
- Click on the elements you like on this page?
- Click on the things you would remove from this page?
- Mark your most important features
- Where do you click for contact information?
- Where you click if you want to buy this product? Where would you click next?
- Mark the things you think we should improve
- Click on the things that draw your attention the most
When you analyze the test results, you can see the individual clicks or heat maps. Also you can see notes the testers created.
One last note about usabilla: While researching, I came across Juliette Melton’s Usabilla vs Loop11 post on uxmag.com. She pointed out a few problems she encountered with Usabilla and the CEO, Paul Veugen, politely commented and addressed the issues. That’s the kind of company I want to work with.
On a final note, it’s great that these tools are becoming available to the small business owner. It seems that user testing a few short years ago was available to only large businesses and corporations. I’m sure costs played a role, but simple awareness of the tools and techniques was also a factor.
Now that there are simple and inexpensive tools, I’m hoping that business owners will be willing to invest in quality user tests.