Are usability testing software suites really that practical and viable? Do you need to make avail of them when designing a web service or software structure? The answers to both of these questions are a resounding “yes,” believe it or not.
While you can actually conduct your usability testing without usability testing software, as was the case for a long time in both web and software design niches, it is absolute folly to not take advantage of the increased efficiency and convenience of software which automates and ensures data integrity in usability testing.
Now, the thing is, usability testing is in and of itself kind of a fuzzy term, which means that the software which qualifies as part of the niche may in fact be multi-purposed, or not obvious at first in their purposing for this niche. So, one of the software suites in this list may at first strike you as an odd entry, but when you get down to brass tacks, it’s not out of place at all.
That said, let’s look at three of the best usability testing suites out there.
#1 – HotGloo
This is the one I’d like to point out because HotGloo is actually a prototyping and mockup system like Balsamiq or the like. It’s used to design interface and flow navigation mockups for working out decisions pertaining to these, and for programmers and designers to work from when implementing the real thing.
However, HotGloo also contains smart content handling, allowing it to illustrate how efficient a given task is by the existing mockup, and can be used to determine where unnecessary steps or navigation layers are, so that they may be removed. It can also help benchmark how long a given task takes by the steps and navigation given with a design.
So, if you’re in the market for prototyping software as well, anyhow, then this is a good way to kill two birds with one stone, and I personally like HotGloo much better than Balsamiq’s unnecessary stylization it forces on its prototypes. This packs the usability testing power Balsamiq does not.
#2 – SimpleFeedback
SimpleFeedback is a testing pool feedback system designed for reporting feedback on traits pertaining to websites, WordPress and iOS applications, though by extension it’s also fine for Android applications as well.
Featuring customizable widgets for feedback, alerts, email response tools, detailed reports and its own developer API to tie it in with their working prototypes, this is a great usability testing system for mobile and web developers. And, they offer you a 15-day no risk trial, so they’re pretty sure of their service, as am I.
#3 – PopFeedback
PopFeedback is a bit more general and is used outside toe software and technology field, though it is geared mostly for it. It features customizable one question surveys, varying color schemes, twitter and email integration, and real time analytics.
This is an invaluable tool for the public beta usability testing phase of software, and is used by fortune 500 technology companies for that very purpose, including Google and Microsoft.
You can’t go wrong with this one, though I recommend SimpleFeedback for web and mobile, over this one. Any other technology usability testing need? Go with this one, it’ll more than suit your needs.
As time goes by, more usability testing software is going to come along and topple these from the top of the list, and when that day comes, you can count on me being here to talk about them at length.