As with other professionals such as dentists or doctors, it’s the knowledge that comes with training and years of experience that guides the hand that uses the tool. The most powerful and dirt cheap of usability testing tools says I!The reality is using a paper and pencil to draw interfaces, wireframes, cards for card sorts and a host of other usability mechanisms is an extremely fast, extremely effective way to conduct usability testing.
Pros – Cheap, fast and extremely effective Cons – Early design stage testing only, not for use in testing interaction Pricing – Very cheap to free Back to the Usability Tools list Concept Feedback was and is designed as a way to gather input and feedback from experts about new designs for marketing or advertising purposes.
However, this tool can be used by web site designers and usability researchers to gather information about potential new web site designs, or interfaces.
It works quite simply, you submit your concept to the expert community, and reviewers provide their suggestions, recommendations and input about your design.
In the past few years, there has been massive growth in new and exciting cheap or free web site usability testing tools, so here’s my list of 24 tools you may need to use from time to time.
Gone are the days of using expensive recruitment firms, labs and massive amounts of time to create, deploy and report on usability tests.
By using these usability testing tools and others like them, you have for the first time a complete set of tools designed to tackle almost any usability research job.
From recruiting real users (with tools such as Ethnio) to conducting live one on one remote moderated tests (User Vue) to analyzing results of usability changes using A/B testing (Google Website Optimizer), there is a plethora of useful and usable tools to conduct usability testing.
But what good is conducting usability testing, how can it help?
As an example of the benefit of usability testing, Jared Spool, usability guru and leader of User Interface Engineering, has described how simple usability testing and subsequent changes to ONE button increased online revenues for a major e Commerce web site by about 300 Million Dollars, in one year. By using today’s low cost usability testing tools, usability researchers can spend a fraction of the cost to obtain results that are close to the traditional usability testing facility results that used to cost thousands.
And just as significant, results can now be gathered and analyzed in a matter of an hour, vs. Of course, just because the tool is free, or practically free, doesn’t mean just anyone can and should use the tool.
As with most other tools, the analysis and the recommendations about what to do based on the reports takes expertise.