Experiences with Morae, VisualMark, etc?

2 Sep 2004 - 6:05am
9 years ago
6 replies
1336 reads
Harry Brignull
2004

Hi everyone

Has anyone here had any experience using Morae or VisualMark, or any
other video-lab software / hardware set ups? I've been thinking of
setting myself up with a lab (as a freelancer) so I'm drawn towards the
cheaper software solutions. Since I've been doing some research into
it, I've noticed that there's very few reviews or objective comparisons
of the alternatives out there on the web. I'd love to hear about
people's experiences.

- Harry

By the way, Kevin - I've seen people use this clip of someone having a
'bad day' in their usability presentations. It's a bit cheesy and it's
been around for ages, but it might suit your needs...
http://www.dupyup.com/bloopers/badday.php

Comments

2 Sep 2004 - 10:50am
Mike Beltzner
2004

Harry Brignull wrote:

> Has anyone here had any experience using Morae or VisualMark, or any
> other video-lab software / hardware set ups? I've been thinking of

I've played around with Morae, but haven't gotten a chance to really put
it to use in an actual usability test session yet. Dirk Frazier of Morae
is doing weekly WebEx demos where he walks through the product, and
afterwards, he'll send you a demo copy to play with on your own.

Sign up here, if interested: http://techsmith.webex.com/techsmith/

From what I've seen / used so far, it's obvious that TechSmith is a
screen capture company that's only just starting to tailor their marquee
tool (Camtasia) for usability tests. There's a lot of power under the
hood, and it's nice to have the single recorder application which grabs
the screen, a camera feed, and also records all keypresses, mouse clicks
and system events. There's really no data that goes uncollected when the
record button is pressed.

Perhaps the largest weakness is that while an observer can insert a
"marker" into the capture in order to denote a point of interest, that
marker can only be one of 26 predefined types, and can't be annotated
during the observation session with a comment. Other weaknesses of the
product are a clunky interface for sorting, filtering and analyzing that
data -- it seems that they knew the data would be useful, but didn't
have a strong idea of how it might be used. Although it does have a nice
ability to aggregate data from a bunch of different sessions within a
study. Another potential problem is that they've got a pretty bad story
when it comes to what happens with system reboots or crashes - in the
former case, the facilitator must restart Morae; in the latter, the data
recording files are lost and need to be sent to TechSmith for
reconstruction.

Morae's strengths are in its data capture and video highlight reel
generation ability. Dirk seems genuinely interested in improving the
product, however, and was eager to get my feedback so they could work on
the next release. Apparently my gripe about not being able to add text
notes to markers will be resolved, and better yet, you might be able to
add audio notes.

Even with Morae's problems, though, it beats the heck out of scan
converters and VCRs. If you don't need the ability to record keypresses
and mouse events, though, I'd stick with Camtasia for now, as Morae's
price seems to be a little steep in comparison.

Haven't used VisualMark - but would love to hear about it, if someone
else has.

cheers,
mike

2 Sep 2004 - 12:14pm
Wendy Fischer
2004

Morae works very well in conjunction with a DV video camera. However, the files can be quite large and I recommend an additional large (120 gig) firewire drive in addition to a large harddrive on a laptop or desktop.

The video editing on Morae leaves a little to be desired. It would be nice if they had transition and mpeg conversion. However it's extremely easy to use and does the job. We just used it at a conference to record usability walkthroughs. About the only problem I ran into was disk storage.

-Wendy Fischer
Senior User Interface Engineer
Actuate, Inc.

Harry Brignull <harrybr at sussex.ac.uk> wrote:
[For those using lower bandwidth, or the DIGEST version of this list; the administrators ask people to voluntarily trim their postings to only include relevant quoted material.]

Hi everyone

Has anyone here had any experience using Morae or VisualMark, or any
other video-lab software / hardware set ups? I've been thinking of
setting myself up with a lab (as a freelancer) so I'm drawn towards the
cheaper software solutions. Since I've been doing some research into
it, I've noticed that there's very few reviews or objective comparisons
of the alternatives out there on the web. I'd love to hear about
people's experiences.

- Harry

By the way, Kevin - I've seen people use this clip of someone having a
'bad day' in their usability presentations. It's a bit cheesy and it's
been around for ages, but it might suit your needs...
http://www.dupyup.com/bloopers/badday.php

_______________________________________________
Interaction Design Discussion List
discuss at ixdg.org
--
to change your options (unsubscribe or set digest): http://discuss.ixdg.org/
--
Questions: lists at ixdg.org
--
Announcement Online List (discussion list members get announcements already)
http://subscribe-announce.ixdg.org/
--
http://ixdg.org/

3 Sep 2004 - 1:09am
Marike Maring
2003

Additionally,
Does anyone has experience with this: http://www.noldus.com/?

Marike Maring

-----Oorspronkelijk bericht-----
Van: discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.
com] Namens Mike Beltzner
Verzonden: donderdag 2 september 2004 17:51
CC: discuss-interactiondesigners.com at lists.interactiondesigners.com
Onderwerp: Re: [ID Discuss] Experiences with Morae, VisualMark, etc?

[For those using lower bandwidth, or the DIGEST version of this list; the
administrators ask people to voluntarily trim their postings to only include
relevant quoted material.]

Harry Brignull wrote:

> Has anyone here had any experience using Morae or VisualMark, or any
> other video-lab software / hardware set ups? I've been thinking of

I've played around with Morae, but haven't gotten a chance to really put it
to use in an actual usability test session yet. Dirk Frazier of Morae is
doing weekly WebEx demos where he walks through the product, and afterwards,
he'll send you a demo copy to play with on your own.

Sign up here, if interested: http://techsmith.webex.com/techsmith/

From what I've seen / used so far, it's obvious that TechSmith is a screen
capture company that's only just starting to tailor their marquee tool
(Camtasia) for usability tests. There's a lot of power under the hood, and
it's nice to have the single recorder application which grabs the screen, a
camera feed, and also records all keypresses, mouse clicks and system
events. There's really no data that goes uncollected when the record button
is pressed.

Perhaps the largest weakness is that while an observer can insert a "marker"
into the capture in order to denote a point of interest, that marker can
only be one of 26 predefined types, and can't be annotated during the
observation session with a comment. Other weaknesses of the product are a
clunky interface for sorting, filtering and analyzing that data -- it seems
that they knew the data would be useful, but didn't have a strong idea of
how it might be used. Although it does have a nice ability to aggregate data
from a bunch of different sessions within a study. Another potential problem
is that they've got a pretty bad story when it comes to what happens with
system reboots or crashes - in the former case, the facilitator must restart
Morae; in the latter, the data recording files are lost and need to be sent
to TechSmith for reconstruction.

Morae's strengths are in its data capture and video highlight reel
generation ability. Dirk seems genuinely interested in improving the
product, however, and was eager to get my feedback so they could work on the
next release. Apparently my gripe about not being able to add text notes to
markers will be resolved, and better yet, you might be able to add audio
notes.

Even with Morae's problems, though, it beats the heck out of scan converters
and VCRs. If you don't need the ability to record keypresses and mouse
events, though, I'd stick with Camtasia for now, as Morae's price seems to
be a little steep in comparison.

Haven't used VisualMark - but would love to hear about it, if someone else
has.

cheers,
mike
_______________________________________________
Interaction Design Discussion List
discuss at ixdg.org
--
to change your options (unsubscribe or set digest): http://discuss.ixdg.org/
--
Questions: lists at ixdg.org
--
Announcement Online List (discussion list members get announcements already)
http://subscribe-announce.ixdg.org/
--
http://ixdg.org/

2 Sep 2004 - 7:52am
Chris Whelan
2004

I have used Morae for the last four usability studies
I've conducted, and overall I have positive things to
say about the product. I previously rented lab
equipment, and so the product has already paid for
itself. While I haven't used many of it's
analytical/reporting features, I can say the product
has provided us with much greater access to our video
footage and has significantly eased the creation of
highlight videos.

A very real drawback to Morae comes if you need to
provide an observation facility. Namely, you can't
pipe in any audio or face shots from the test session-
only desktop. They say this will be addressed in the
next version.

--- Harry Brignull <harrybr at sussex.ac.uk> wrote:

> [For those using lower bandwidth, or the DIGEST
> version of this list; the administrators ask people
> to voluntarily trim their postings to only include
> relevant quoted material.]
>
> Hi everyone
>
> Has anyone here had any experience using Morae or
> VisualMark, or any
> other video-lab software / hardware set ups? I've
> been thinking of
> setting myself up with a lab (as a freelancer) so
> I'm drawn towards the
> cheaper software solutions. Since I've been doing
> some research into
> it, I've noticed that there's very few reviews or
> objective comparisons
> of the alternatives out there on the web. I'd love
> to hear about
> people's experiences.
>
> - Harry
>
> By the way, Kevin - I've seen people use this clip
> of someone having a
> 'bad day' in their usability presentations. It's a
> bit cheesy and it's
> been around for ages, but it might suit your
> needs...
> http://www.dupyup.com/bloopers/badday.php
>
> _______________________________________________
> Interaction Design Discussion List
> discuss at ixdg.org
> --
> to change your options (unsubscribe or set digest):
> http://discuss.ixdg.org/
> --
> Questions: lists at ixdg.org
> --
> Announcement Online List (discussion list members
> get announcements already)
> http://subscribe-announce.ixdg.org/
> --
> http://ixdg.org/
>

_______________________________
Do you Yahoo!?
Win 1 of 4,000 free domain names from Yahoo! Enter now.
http://promotions.yahoo.com/goldrush

2 Sep 2004 - 5:44pm
Listera
2004

Harry Brignull:

> Has anyone here had any experience using Morae or VisualMark, or any
> other video-lab software / hardware set ups?

The sweetest one to come is FaceTop:

<http://www.trnmag.com/Stories/2004/063004/Interface_blends_screen_and_video
_063004.html>

and

<http://rockfish-cs.cs.unc.edu/pubs/TR04-008.pdf>

I don't know the shipping schedule, but I had exchanged a few ideas
regarding FaceTop in a usability testing setting. They were receptive and if
they implement them, FT will be an extremely interesting tool.

Ziya
Nullius in Verba

7 Sep 2004 - 1:08pm
vutpakdi
2003

--- Harry Brignull <harrybr at sussex.ac.uk> wrote:
> Has anyone here had any experience using Morae or VisualMark, or any
> other video-lab software / hardware set ups?

I've used Morae's "ancestor," Camtasia for several usability studies and
usability related work (capturing workflows, domain expert explanations,
etc). As I understand it, Morae is essentially Camtasia with added
capability, so perhaps my comments will be helpful.

Camtasia is quite powerful and fairly well done in terms of capabilities
and design for what it is (a screen recording and light movie editing
package). The resulting recordings can be large, but they can also capture
every movement on the screen, every pixel for each frame (ie, no noticeable
compression loss on the raw recording), sound from the computer, and sound
from a microphone. Output of the recording from the raw AVI to a more
portable format (Windows Media or Flash among others) is pretty easy with a
fairly good degree of control.

My only complaint with Camtasia is that Camtasia is a bit of a resource hog
when recording at 1280x1024. Not a problem if you're recording, say a
website test or someone running something like Word. However, if you're
recording soemthing that likes to suck down resources too (like highly
technical 3d modeling/simulation software), the performance hit can be a
little painful for the test subject. Frame rate also is a little slow (but
usually good enough).

Camtasia is better than the other couple of recording solutions that I
looked at (RoboDemo and something else whose name escapes me right now).

Ron

=====
============================================================================
Ron Vutpakdi
vutpakdi at acm.org

Syndicate content Get the feed