On-Demand User Testing by UserTesting.com

Before publishing Websites, apps, games and so on, developers like to see whether their new product/ software is as user friendly as they would like it to be, whether all functions perform correctly in users' browsers and more. User Testing.com offers an opportunity for designers and developers to have their sites, apps, etc tested by a panel of users.

While this service does not come cheap by any means - tests cost $49 per user (meaning if you want a new game, for example, to be tested by 10 users, it will cost you a whopping $490) - users do get detailed feedback on the tested product in video and written form.

Available on demand, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, test results are usually made available within an hour.

Videos consist of users being observed within their own environment on their own computers. Performing the tasks specified by the submitting user, each panel member will talk through how functions are performing, problems they experienced, and so on. Participants, by the way, will be as closely matched to the intended target audience as possible.

Testing anything from Facebook games, prototypes or competitors' Websites to password protected and other Websites, mobile apps and more, participants will also fill in detailed questionnaires tailored to match the product.

Taking notes and exporting annotations to Excel to enable further analysis is made possible, and video clips - which may be downloaded in MPEG-4, Quick Time or WMV formats - can be edited to create focused presentations via the built-in clip-editor.

Users are also able to communicate with participants in order to ask follow up questions. User Testing.com is currently being used by 15 out of the world's top 30 Websites and has already performed in excess of 100,000 usability tests.

After the user creates the test - a process taking around 3 minutes - the site will either selected a number of target market participants, run tests on the site's computers or intercept live visitors to the site to be tested.

The resulting feedback is then forwarded to the test originator within an hour. Videos can then be annotated, edited and downloaded for highlight reels containing specific clips or e-mail distribution of highlights to team members. Written questionnaires can be similarly analysed and participants are available to discuss any remaining follow-up questions. If required, any necessary changes to the site, app and so on can be made before publication.

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