What do You Know About Remote Usability Testing?

OK/Cancel recently published a “Guide to Remote Usability Testing”:http://www.ok-cancel.com/archives/article/2006/07/guide-to-remote-usability-testing.html which provides an excellent introduction to the subject.

Usability testing has always been a challenge for our team due to its time-intensive nature and our lack of resources.
Remote usability using some of the tools and services listed in the article might be an ideal way to get the testing we need done in a time-efficient and cost-effective manner.
I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t know a great deal about remote usability, so it was something of a surprise to see how sophisticated some of these web-based services are. Check out “Ethnio”:http://ethnio.com, “MindCanvas”:http://themindcanvas.com/ and “RelevantView”:http://www.relevantview.com/usabilitytesting.htm for examples.
Ethnio looks very affordable; however I couldn’t say as far as the other vendors are concerned because they neglected to put any pricing information on their web sites.
Don’t they know that this was one of the “Top 10 Web Design Mistakes”:http://www.useit.com/alertbox/20021223.html way back in 2002? It drives me nuts as a customer not to have even an idea of how much something is likely to cost.
The “Remote Usability Testing Wiki”:http://remoteusability.com/ is also an excellent resource for those interested in learning more about this topic.

2 thoughts to “What do You Know About Remote Usability Testing?”

  1. Hey Christian,
    I am one of the creators of MindCanvas. And I hate the fact that we don’t yet have our pricing scheme online :-> Its not because we forgot. Its simply because we are very new, and we are taking the early Beta phase to work out a pricing scheme. Very early on, we learnt that people want to use MindCanvas in very different ways, and its difficult to capture these varying usages with one pricing scheme. In the Beta phase, we are working with lots of people and getting their feedback about our pricing and service, and refining so that we can best meet their needs.
    We hope to be able to share a pricing scheme on the site very soon. In the meantime, thanks for your feedback.
    Please drop me a line if you have questions, or if you have a few minutes to give feedback on our proposed pricing scheme.

  2. Rashmi – thanks for your response. I appreciate your situation; however, as a consumer it is frustrating not to have an idea of how much something might cost, even if it is only a ballpark figure.
    The conclusion I jump to when I don’t see pricing information is 1) that the product is expensive and 2) the vendor wants you to speak to a sales person so that they can try to close the sale. Not a very appealing prospect. CMS vendors do it all the time.
    Your product certainly looks very cool – if I can afford it too then I might certainly be interested in trying it out.

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