Monday, January 10, 2011
Verify by Zurb lets you perform real-world usability testing for your website
More often then not, we sort of wing this part of the job. We may ask a couple of people we know, but most small-time developers and internal product teams tend to act on gut instinct. It's not because people don't care, but because it's often difficult to gather actual data. You can use Google Analytics for some things (A/B testing for conversion rates), but Analytics data won't tell you what people remember after looking at your page, or if a certain timestamp format is more or less friendly for your comment threads.
We've covered a couple of applications by Zurb before, and now they've released a new one, aimed at providing just this sort of data to product teams. It's called Verify, and it basically lets you create a set of tests based on your Web page, or mock-ups of possible versions of the page, and then send them out to customers or large groups of internal users.
The tests are fun: In one test, you get a few seconds to look at the page, and then you're asked what you remember (like previously-covered Clue). Other tests produce a heat-map of clicks: People are asked something like "Where would you click to learn more about us?" and then you see what they do.
Verify isn't free, but for what it does, it seems quite affordable (starting at $9/month). I've put up a short video showcasing it after the jump.