Free Usability Testing with Peek

Over the last weekend, when we were working on our Shoperb service, a colleague introduced me to Peek, developed by the fine people at UserTesting. Peek gives you a quick and affordable (free, really) way to get an insight into the usability of your site. That’s the beauty of Peek – it’s free usability test (as you could expect, short one) by a real person who may or may not be in your target audience. Without thinking too much about it, I submitted three of our sites (Shoperb, Photry and this site) for testing.

On Tuesday morning (took a while but hey, it’s free!) I received three emails from UserTesting letting me know that the tests are all ready to look at. For some reason the videos didn’t open on my Firefox right after the emails were received (worekd well few hours later, so probably uploading delay or something) their site but I was glad to see that I could just download them to my computer.

What did we find out

I have to say that after watching these three videos with the guys in the office we were truly surprised on how detailed they were. That’s of course considering that the testers had only 5-10 minunutes to check the sites out. Would I follow these thoughts blindly? Not really since it’s just an opinion by one person. However, there were lot of details we kind of knew but never really bothered to fix thinking that they’re minor issues (guess what, they were important enough to mention by the reviewer).

Shoperb –

I assume that Shoperb was reviewed by a female designer/developer and she has a pretty good understanding on what she was looking at – probably a good target market for us. Some of the key issues that we were aware of but just didn’t have time to add yet (well they’ll be coming fast now):

  • When your main currency is EUR, also show prices in USD
  • Link to a demo, screencast or screenshots
  • Explain the features better and be clear on what the plans include
  • Example projects and free theme designs should be well visible

Photry –

Photry was reviewed by someone who seems like a regular web user so again pretty good match for us. What did she find?

  • Building confidence would be important (McAfee or Norton Security logos)
  • If you’ve been featured, these logos would be must have
  • We failed to make it really obvious what the free plan comes with
  • Make it extremely easy to get in touch with you

PerfectLine –

There were some really nice details on what we’ll be improving soon. Nothing surprising really but just things where we need to update the site a bit and do some more testing.

Closing thoughts on Peek

Overall I think that this is extremely nice of the people at UserTesting to make this available for the larger public. It will most probably get more people to think about usability testing and get them on the right track. For us, that’s probably one of the services that I would recommend for our clients since it really doesn’t affect the bottom line at all but gives great initial insight that could be basis for further testing.

Martin Kivi
Martin is the Founder and CEO of PerfectLine. He is passionate about front end development, user interface design and building awesome products. He will be your first point of contact here at PerfectLine.

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