There are two types of user-testing: qualitative and quantitative.
Quantitative data and analysis are based on numbers. It’s what tools like Google Analytics provide. But it’s more than pure data. It can also be visual data. Heatmap visualization tools like Crazy Egg and Inspectlet or combination heatmap/analytics tools like ClickTale fall into this group too. We get a sense of what the user is doing – often in aggregate – but it’s always at arms length. There’s no way to contact the user directly for follow up.
Qualitative data can be thought of as “fuzzy” data. It’s the “why” behind the click. To get qualitative data, you have to get out and talk to users. Or, to be more systematic about it, get them to take a survey.
There are players in this market: Usabilla, IntuitionHQ, UserTesting.com, Loop11, etc. but all of them are aimed at a different, somewhat more small business market.
The 800 lb. gorilla in the space is a company called UserZoom.
They offer a robust set of user testing tools for enterprise businesses. Think Fortune 1000. Their client list includes a who’s-who of companies: Google, PayPal, USBank, Walmart, Canon, HSBC, IBM, Continental, Dell, eBay, Monster, Verizon and more.
Their smallest plan is $1,000 with a 12 month contract and it only goes up from there.
Simply put, UserZoom is not messing around.
So what do they do, exactly?
What UserZoom Does, Exactly
UserZoom offers a suite of tools to survey users. This includes:
- task-based surveys
- card sorting
- tree testing
- screenshot click-testing
- and general surveys
In short, it’s a comprehensive suite of user-testing tools.
Their focus seems to be in three main areas:
- Providing an all-under-one-roof solution for businesses
- Allowing for extensive customization of the surveys: how they look, the questions themselves, and in post-analysis
- Benchmarking through competitive analysis
And since they’re meant for enterprise users, they have all the bells-and-whistles that really help to eliminate bias in your data.
- Customized profiles – When running a survey, you can determine the particular qualities that a participant must match in order to take the survey. You can create multiple profiles and set limits on the number of participants.
- Branching surveys – You can create specific surveys for each profile. For example, you could create a survey that would serve one set of questions to men and another to women. You can also ask questions based on how a user reacted to other questions. This allows for really robust surveys.
- Question rotation – You may not want to ask every participant the same set of questions. With UserZoom, you can rotate the questions based on your own specifications.
All of this is already extremely cool and is a cut above other qualitative user testing tools on the market. But what really takes the cake is their ability to conduct competitive analysis with the same granularity as your own qualitative analysis.
What this means in plain English is that you can build a survey – complete with questions that ask you to navigate your competitor’s website and it will work. All of the data will be captured in the same way as if you were doing a survey about your own website.
This allows companies to create benchmarks by user-testing their competitors.
UserZoom can do this because they don’t require any code to be installed on a website. Instead, survey takers are asked to install a small plugin for their web browser for the duration of the survey. UserZoom is even courteous enough to make it easy to uninstall the plugin after the survey has concluded. I was ready to be upset about the need to use a plugin, but the entire process was so painless – and the upside is so great – that it’s hard to complain too much about the minor inconvenience.
To top it all off, UserZoom interfaces with Google Analytics bringing an additional measure of quantitative data to the party too.
Talk to Me About Pricing
Okay. There’s no way to say this gently. UserZoom is expensive. It’s expensive for a UX tool in the same way that a Ferrari is expensive for a car. It’s not expensive for everybody, but it’s probably too expensive for you. But that’s because it’s meant for Enterprise businesses. Dudes with real budgets. We’re talking $36,000 a year without blinking.
And for a few of you, that means you.
If you’re one of those people… run, do not walk, to UserZoom. If your company buys Adobe Creative Suite licenses like they’re tacos from Taco Bell, you want UserZoom in your UX toolbox.
I’d even recommend it for good sized local web dev firms. If you have a few decent sized clients and can divide the cost between them, get in on it. UserZoom will make you look good. Plus, they give breaks to agencies. I don’t know what those are, but it certainly couldn’t hurt to find out.
As for the 3-stars for pricing, that’s heavily influenced by jealousy. Their tool is probably worth the money. But at that price, my firm can’t afford it. The good news is, there are many other tools that can satisfy the needs of small businesses without having to get a part-time job to pay for it.
Next week, I’ll take you through a pilot study that for LessAccounting that was created on UserZoom. We’ll look at how the study was created, conducted, and what the data looks like after it has all been collected. But the bottom line is, if you can afford this tool, you need this tool.