I have been looking for a number of ways to do usability and design testing today so that I can validate the direction I am headed for a few sites I’m working on. It is my opinion that the more eyes I have on the things I am working on, the better they will be for all learners and users. Iteration can only happen when you are actively engaged in listening.
Here are the sites that I am using:
- http://usabilityhub.com/ – Really great for doing quick tests and laying out exactly what you want people to be looking for. The 5 Second test is my personal favorite. It really shows what people actually look at in the amount of time that most people spend on a page to decide if they want to be there or not. The best part of the site, however, is that you can participate in other people’s tests and sharpen your own powers of observation (and the more tests you do, the more you can ask of others because you are amassing Karma)
- http://usabilla.com/ – I think this one could be really useful because of the way that the tests are structured. There is a good mix of design and usability (click) testing. You have the ability to customize the tests as well, but the one drawback is that there doesn’t seem to be a large community of people that are actively taking these tests so you have to promote them yourself.
- http://openhallway.com/ – I haven’t tested this out a whole bunch just yet, but I really like the idea that I could send out a link to my site and then record how they interact with it, seeing exactly what they are doing. Really great concept, but you still have to get testers yourself.
You may not think you have the time for this level of testing, but after getting the first few sets of feedback from objective perspectives (not your twitter followers) will change your mind.