September 4th

"Usability without Morae"

Posted by Abby Leafe in Research //

I recently had a client with little to no budget for usability testing.  We wanted to see how much we could squeeze out of that budget, so we ditched Morae and went with WebEx instead.  Did it work?  Heck yeah, it did!  Here’s how we did it.

  • I signed up for a free 1-month trial of WebEx.  For the first few weeks, I had access to their premium service, which allowed me up to 8 people participating in a ‘meeting’ at once – me plus 7 client observers.
  • I logged in as the host on the computer we were using for testing, and I dialed into the conference call using a separate phone in the conference room where we were conducting the research.  Bingo!  Audio and video all set and ready to go.
  • We used a webcam on top of the monitor to capture and broadcast the respondent’s face to all client observers.  Since I thought it would be distracting for the respondent to see herself, I was able to minimize this window on the testing screen, while still ensuring that it was visible to all clients.
  • Very important!  I checked the settings box that mutes all client observers as they dial into the WebEx meeting.  There would have been nothing worse than having clients logging in and out and announcing themselves to the respondent.  “Hi, it’s Jane in marketing!”  Yikes.
  • Post-interview, all client attendees had access to streamed interviews if they wanted to watch anything they missed.  I could have downloaded files too, if I was so inclined, although playing them on anything other than the WebEx proprietary player would have required a time-consuming conversion.

Pretty easy, right?  It kinda makes me wonder how much I really need fancy usability software for most tests.

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