UX testing tools
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Published on June 22, 2014
An important part of user experience design is usability testing. There are a wide range of UX testing tools and services, regardless of the size of your user experience team or company. Whether you work for a large organization, or small, there’s a number of tools available to help you test your website or app at every stage of the development process.
Various services are making it faster and easier to conduct UX tests and research, and we’ve assembled a list of user experience testing resources. Many of these services have low per-test fees which make them accessible to even the smallest of startups, while some of them include in-application testing APIs and are suitable to larger enterprises.
TryMyUI allows you to select the demographic you want to use for testing, and you’ll receive videos of users navigating your website, showing their screen and any keyboard interactions. Testers are also able to respond to questions that you create. Test can be billed per test result that you receive, or you can license their platform to run tests with your own subjects.
User Testing indicates they have more than 1 million testers available, and results can start to be provided to you within an hour of submitting a test case. Services range from basic testing, focus groups, and the ability to ask questions of testers after the usability testing process. User Testing can provide testing by specific demographics including age groups, gender, computer expertise, education level, and employment type. Userlytics provides services similar to this, but also provides a video of test subjects.
Usability Hub offers several tests, including a five-second test, a click test, and a nav flow test. Once you publish your test's availability on UsabilityHub, you can receive as many responses as you feel would be useful. The site says that in general, you can expect to receive 50 responses within 20 to 30 hours.
Crowdsourced Testing is also geared towards professional ux testers for testing general usability and bugs.
If you need a more robust platform for testing UX on more than websites, consider Applause, formerly uTest, who provides in-the-wild testing for websites, along with in-app testing and analytics. As they are focused more on enterprise user experience projects for the web and apps, they don’t provide an off-the-shelf testing platform. They also recently acquired TestHub.
Youeye is a service that provides testing for either product usability or marketing purposes. You can test usability of apps, websites, or prototypes, gaining an understanding of where people are looking on your site or app, along with their facial reactions to what they encounter.
The proliferation of usability testing resources is making it possible for small startups to have access to resources that previously were the domain of the largest enterprises, and allowing large enterprises to conduct better, more comprehensive tests. With such a wide range of UX testing options, the barriers for conducting tests have been eliminated, along with any excuses for publishing websites or apps without first making certain they meet the needs of your audience. If you’re new to the field of user experience, or lack any formal training, you can built your skills in UX training courses offered at American Graphics Institute.
About the author
Jennifer Smith is a user experience designer, Photoshop expert, educator and author based in Boston. She is the author of more than 20 books on design tools and processes, including Adobe Creative Cloud for Dummies, Adobe Creative Cloud Digital Classroom, and Photoshop Digital Classroom. She has been awarded a Microsoft MVP three times for her work with user experience design in creating apps for touch, desktop, and mobile devices.
Jennifer delivers UX training and UX consulting for large Fortune 100 companies, small start-ups, and independent software vendors. She has been hired by Adobe and Microsoft to deliver training workshops to their staff, and has traveled to Asia, Europe, India, the Middle East, and across the U.S. to deliver courses and assist on UX design projects. She has extensive knowledge of modern Windows UX Design, having worked closely with the Windows team to create educational material and deliver UX workshops to key partners globally on behalf of Microsoft. Jennifer works with a wide range of prototyping tools including Fireworks, Photoshop, Illustrator, Blend for Visual Studio, and Balsamiq.