Usability Tools and Products

2 Feb 2009 - 10:04am
5 years ago
13 replies
483 reads
Rony Philip
2007

Hi All,

Even in this recession time, I have been given a decent budget for my user
experience team. I have planned to invest in usability tools/ products
(assets) for our team. E.g. Eye tracker.

Could anyone suggest the other tools/products (software or hardware assets)
that I could look into?

cheers,
Rony

Comments

2 Feb 2009 - 10:26am
Nik
2009

Hi Rony,

How about Morae or Silverback?

Nik

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of
Rony Philip
Sent: 02 February 2009 15:04
To: discuss at ixda.org
Subject: [IxDA Discuss] Usability Tools and Products

Hi All,

Even in this recession time, I have been given a decent budget for my
user
experience team. I have planned to invest in usability tools/ products
(assets) for our team. E.g. Eye tracker.

Could anyone suggest the other tools/products (software or hardware
assets)
that I could look into?

cheers,
Rony
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2 Feb 2009 - 12:27pm
Jared M. Spool
2003

On Feb 2, 2009, at 7:04 AM, Rony Philip wrote:

> Even in this recession time, I have been given a decent budget for
> my user
> experience team. I have planned to invest in usability tools/ products
> (assets) for our team. E.g. Eye tracker.

One of these days, I'm going to make a "Just Say No to Eye Trackers" t-
shirt.

How about a Ouija Board? They run about 1/3000 the price and produce
just as good predictions of what works and what doesn't. (Hell, for
that price, buy two.)

:)

Jared

p.s. Better not just buy two Ouija boards. What if they don't agree?
You need to buy 3, so that you can see which two are close to being
the same answer. Now, this is getting expensive, not to mention the
cost of the staff needed to run them.

2 Feb 2009 - 12:38pm
Erin Walsh
2007

I'll completely second Nik's recommendation for Morae or Silverback.
Things are tight for our budget, so our hopes for Morae were
transferred to settling on Silverback. I prefer Morae's full feature
set, but Silverback still helps us get the job done and has been a
huge benefit to our entire organization.

Another solid recommendation would be OptimalSort for online card
sorts. Small expense, but another huge help for our team and even
the marketing dept.

There are so many great tools out there, but possibly save some money
on the tools and invest in training/conferences for your team. We've
redirected some of our limited budget to increase the training for
the team. It's been a great success and definitely had an enormous
impact. It seems we can get creative with tools and products, but
the number of outstanding conferences we wish to attend definitely
added up the fastest.

Good luck!
Erin

erin walsh | product developer | For Rent Media Solutions™
150 granby street, 16th floor | norfolk, va 23510
p:757.351.8444 | f:757.961.4827
erin.walsh at ForRent.com| www.FRMediaSolutions.com

You Have Multiple Marketing Needs... We Have Multiple Solutions!

2 Feb 2009 - 12:48pm
Chauncey Wilson
2007

Seems like you are being a bit harsh Jared -- the equipment/tools do not
generate the predictions and bad predictions are often due to poor choice of
tasks, small samples, or lack of background in analysis and interpretation
methods.

I would suggest getting the new Pulse pen by Livescribe (www.livescribe.com)
that allows you to tape record as your take notes. The software
highlights the association between your audio and your notes so you can do
things like have a symbol for "good quote" and then click on the symbol to
play the exact quote and not the paraphrase that so often happens
when someone talks quickly. It is $179 at Target in the USA. At out last
user conference, I had a user draw a sketch using the pen and narrating as
he drew and it was extremely useful.

Other suggestions might be subscriptions to remote collaboration tools like
GoToMeeting, a good digital camera, and one of the new miniature and
relatively inexpensive video systems that run for about an hour or so and
have only a few buttons.

A good tripod can be useful for documenting your work nicely.

Chauncey
On Mon, Feb 2, 2009 at 12:27 PM, Jared Spool <jspool at uie.com> wrote:

>
> On Feb 2, 2009, at 7:04 AM, Rony Philip wrote:
>
> Even in this recession time, I have been given a decent budget for my user
>> experience team. I have planned to invest in usability tools/ products
>> (assets) for our team. E.g. Eye tracker.
>>
>
> One of these days, I'm going to make a "Just Say No to Eye Trackers"
> t-shirt.
>
> How about a Ouija Board? They run about 1/3000 the price and produce just
> as good predictions of what works and what doesn't. (Hell, for that price,
> buy two.)
>
> :)
>
> Jared
>
> p.s. Better not just buy two Ouija boards. What if they don't agree? You
> need to buy 3, so that you can see which two are close to being the same
> answer. Now, this is getting expensive, not to mention the cost of the staff
> needed to run them.
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

2 Feb 2009 - 12:49pm
Katie Albers
2005

I'm with Jared on this one...and Ouija boards are much more flexible,
too. You can use them for information on absolutely anything!

Eye trackers rely on a central unproven theory that eyes track to the
point of main interest. A moment's thought about your own behaviors
will show you that's not an entirely true statement. People ignore
things, are distracted by things, apparently grok an entire page in a
single glance, focus their gaze at one point on a screen while their
attention is elsewhere on it., and more. Of all the things you can
buy, for pity's sake don't waste it on eye-tracking devices.

Is how you spend this money dictated by management? If not, you might
want to give serious thought to training (bring a seminar in-house) or
conference attendance to build your team's capabilities. Ask them what
software/hardware they'd like to have -- they know what they're
lacking in a way we can't begin to.

Oh, there's a radical thought, ask the users.

kt

Katie Albers
Founder & Principal Consultant
FirstThought
User Experience Strategy & Project Management
310 356 7550
katie at firstthought.com

On Feb 2, 2009, at 9:27 AM, Jared Spool wrote:

>
> On Feb 2, 2009, at 7:04 AM, Rony Philip wrote:
>
>> Even in this recession time, I have been given a decent budget for
>> my user
>> experience team. I have planned to invest in usability tools/
>> products
>> (assets) for our team. E.g. Eye tracker.
>
> One of these days, I'm going to make a "Just Say No to Eye Trackers"
> t-shirt.
>
> How about a Ouija Board? They run about 1/3000 the price and produce
> just as good predictions of what works and what doesn't. (Hell, for
> that price, buy two.)
>
> :)
>
> Jared
>
> p.s. Better not just buy two Ouija boards. What if they don't agree?
> You need to buy 3, so that you can see which two are close to being
> the same answer. Now, this is getting expensive, not to mention the
> cost of the staff needed to run them.
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help

2 Feb 2009 - 1:33pm
Dana Chisnell
2008

There are so many other things I would spend money on before spending
it on an eye-tracker:

More staff or interns
Better incentives for participants
More test sessions!
Some deeper research project that would be strategic
Space to do other methods in besides testing
Portable equipment like audio recorders

Unless you already have all of these things you could possibly
want... :)

Dana

:: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: ::
Dana Chisnell
desk: 415.392.0776
mobile: 415.519.1148

dana AT usabilityworks DOT net

www.usabilityworks.net
http://usabilitytestinghowto.blogspot.com/

On Feb 2, 2009, at 7:04 AM, Rony Philip wrote:

> Hi All,
>
> Even in this recession time, I have been given a decent budget for
> my user
> experience team. I have planned to invest in usability tools/ products
> (assets) for our team. E.g. Eye tracker.
>
> Could anyone suggest the other tools/products (software or hardware
> assets)
> that I could look into?
>
> cheers,
> Rony
>

2 Feb 2009 - 1:35pm
Mark Schraad
2006

I will buy a bunch of those shirts! It will be a different audience to give
something to than those that now have a copy of the 'Inmates'.
Mark

On Mon, Feb 2, 2009 at 12:27 PM, Jared Spool <jspool at uie.com> wrote:

>
>>
> One of these days, I'm going to make a "Just Say No to Eye Trackers"
> t-shirt.
>
>

2 Feb 2009 - 1:58pm
Robert Hoekman, Jr.
2005

>
> One of these days, I'm going to make a "Just Say No to Eye Trackers"
> t-shirt.
>

Now, now, Jared. You know they can be useful—they're just widely
misinterpreted as providing meaningful information all by themselves.

Eye-tracking results have to be put into perspective by about 100 other
things (metrics, goals, click paths, etc). Without those things, all you
have are pretty pictures.

-r-

2 Feb 2009 - 2:03pm
Robert Hoekman, Jr.
2005

>
> Eye-tracking results have to be put into perspective by about 100 other
> things (metrics, goals, click paths, etc). Without those things, all you
> have are pretty pictures.
>

A clarification:

That said, eye-tracking gear is so way more expensive than it's worth, so
even if you use the results properly, you're spending way more money than
you should on usability tests and analysis.

-r-

2 Feb 2009 - 2:28pm
Alex ONeal
2008

"That said, eye-tracking gear is so way more expensive than it's worth, so
even if you use the results properly, you're spending way more money than
you should on usability tests and analysis."

I'm so glad you said that. I made that argument to our usability research
group recently, arguing there were a lot more ways we could improve method
and analysis that didn't require the same financial outlay. I think they
were disappointed, because mental rigor is so much less cool than an on-site
eye tracking lab ;-)

bests,
Alex O'Neal

--
The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The next best time is
now.

2 Feb 2009 - 2:32pm
dszuc
2005

Hi Rony:

To follow on and support Dana's post ...

Invest the budget back into your people and process (rather than the
hardware alone)

* Training and conferences (to name a few ... )
- http://www.usabilityprofessionals.org/conference/2009/
- http://www.uie.com/events/
- http://interaction09.ixda.org/
- http://www.adaptivepath.com/events/

* A space to run research (not a lab) and that can also double as a
place to train and show of all your project work

* A UX Sales Pack and stories to help you pass on the knowledge in
your organisation

* An UX Intranet or knowledge base for your team to share

* A "simple design process" to help you and your team learn, design
and test with your user base.

Have fun!

rgds,
Dan

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=38056

2 Feb 2009 - 10:56am
asadjunaid
2009

If your team has not invested in Axure yet, now is a good time.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=38056

2 Feb 2009 - 10:23am
Hal Gill
2007

I'd recommend looking at Morae by TechSmith:
http://www.techsmith.com/morae.asp

Hal Gill, CEA
FGM, Inc.
www.fgm.com

On Mon, Feb 2, 2009 at 10:04 AM, Rony Philip <philiprony at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi All,
>
> Even in this recession time, I have been given a decent budget for my user
> experience team. I have planned to invest in usability tools/ products
> (assets) for our team. E.g. Eye tracker.
>
> Could anyone suggest the other tools/products (software or hardware assets)
> that I could look into?
>
> cheers,
> Rony
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

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