The Testing User package was designed to be the complete solution the market craves. The viewpoint of most in business who have experimented with User Testing is that it the prospect of just gaining some Usability insight into a product is worth the headache of trawling through the catalog of Usability consultancy services out there who will apply there methodologies to your product at more often than not a price that will make your eyes water.
Its been about 15 years since business first became aware of Usability Testing as a means to make their product the best it can be. With the massive leaps forward in Design and Technology during the last 20 years the first large corporations who dabbled were well aware that the success of their products would depend heavily on how easy and efficient their products were to use.
User Testing is overdue its time as a essential for product development in both small and large corporations.
Now in 2011 though we must ask ourselves why its still seen as a necessary evil for the growing number of companies who choose to invest in it. Well the feedback Testing User has received would suggest a frustration amongst those who want to get a return on their Usability budget. This negativity seems to come from people feeling sorely disappointed with the results they get from the products already out there. The bottom line is that corporations both large on small want the full Usability package at a price that your boss doesnít think is a major gamble.
Management skeptics or those new to Usability Testing have a right to be a little concerned when it comes to Usability investment. I mean look at the products that are out there anyone from Academics, scientists, consultancies and kids sat in their bedrooms are all visible after a quick search offering you their services as the best way to go.
Even for someone like myself who has spent the last 10 years monitoring the Usability industry go in all different directions. Its confusing.
The services go all the way from a couple of hundred dollars to fifty thousand. You can have in person tests conducted which often run into the tens of thousands of dollars. The problem here is that though they can most of the time be considered comprehensive they often show similar results to those obtained through budget services.
Lets think about the price though for a second. Up to $50,000. What a gamble for any business to take for a piece of analysis. Its no surprise that User Testing is yet to convert those in small business to using it.
Now I mentioned budget services which have seen impressive growth in the last 6 or 7 years as they are seen as Usability "quick fix" that anyone can use. From as little as forty or fifty dollars you can obtain You Tube style videos of Users telling you what you think of your website.
The Testing User analysis can be classed as a budget Usability service, but the concerns expressed by our clients about the products already on the market are evident. When looking at video testing one video equals one opinion. Now you donít have to be a Usability expert to come to the conclusion that worthwhile testing probably needs more than one users opinion.
Then of course when you receive the video that is all you receive. Our clients were looking for a product that extracted, analyzed and presented the Usability data and findings to them. Its not too much to ask for, after all if your investing in User Testing in the first place the chances are you need a product that takes up as little time as possible and allows you to present the findings professionally to whoever you want.
So which is the best method out there? Well If you want my honest answer I believe the miracle cure to any businesses Usability problems is a myth. By its nature testing is a working process that needs to be monitored and maintained. When all said we are talking about people in business who want to gain a competitive advantage so their product or service gets more sales. Usability is no doubt an important part of this and any gains you make just like in business will probably only be temporary.
Secondly I think it has to be said that Usability Testing is a subjective analysis, after all were just dealing with people opinions.
With that in mind this is where the Testing User analysis has really found its place in the market. People in business are mostly smart people who recognize the potential benefits but are also well aware of the risks. They want the full package at a price that doesnít leave them asking themselves have I gone insane?
Its a 30 page board room ready presentation that allows that you to connect with 150 users. It extracts, quantifies and presents the findings to you in a document that has to nothing to envy from a academic publication, however it looks good and doesnít leave you feeling tired after the first page.