UserTesting.com sent an email tonight advertising their new Shout user testing feedback bookmark. I’m in their email database because I pay for their service to have my clients’ websites reviewed there. I also review websites for them, which earns me a tiny pittance. That means the money flows bountifully (scarcely) in both directions. I do not, in any way, receive compensation or consideration from UserTesting.com for this post or anything I publish. Now, with that out of the way…
Here’s why I’m writing this post:
I love user experience and its intersection with the web. I’ve been writing about it making my living on it for years. I began using UserTesting (can I drop the .com?) in 2011 around the time I read Steve Krug’s Don’t Make Me Think. And I’ve been in love with it as a small-potatoes user testing tool ever since. For $50, there’s no excuse not to test your interfaces/websites with them.
Shout lowers the barrier to entry. And it flips the megaphone around. Instead of publishers buying reviews, reviewers can “sell” them. I say “sell” because Shout is running a gamification sort of thing, offering charitable donations as rewards. It has the potential to expose lots of new people to the world of UX feedback. Publishers who never knew or cared that users had thoughts and feelings may now get a wake up call.
Let’s take a look.
Shout User Testing Promo Page
The promo landing page features a video demonstrating how the process works. There’s also a gif fallback, if you’re into that sort of thing.
And it looks pretty simple: click the bookmark, up pops a form. Click some stuff, write some stuff, boom. Feedback submitted. Also the potted cacti are a nice touch.
Beyond that, the Shout page starts to get into the gamification business: points for reviews > charity donations for points. This is a nice touch too. Seems a little out of place maybe. But I suppose there’s no bad place for good deeds.
UserTesting Shout’s how and why
Use our bookmark. Publishers will listen to you. That means you’ll be important. Make a difference and all that.
Of course what they’re not saying here is that you could do this already. All their UX feedback bookmark does is grease the wheels for you, the user. It does nothing for the publisher (to my knowledge) that would make them any more likely to listen to you. Hopefully that’s coming after beta.
This is easily the biggest selling point IMO. Hey. You lazy? We got u. Click this. Cool, no go get a burrito or something. Works for me. Probably works for other lazies out there too. Well played on that score, UserTesting.
Support good causes.
A nice touch. I can’t find a single detail about how this is supposed to work. I’m sure the cat’s not out of the bag yet. But I imagine they’ll let you cash in your points for a donation made by UserTesting to the charity of your choice. Again, works for me. Points!
UserTesting Shout Screenshots
Here’s what the process looks like, if you’re not into the video or gif mentioned earlier.
Like/dislike. Doesn’t get much easier. More points for the clever shout out/shout at branding.
Shout out: positive feedback
Check all that apply. Leave some comments if you want. Not sure what the tags are for or how they should be used.
Also of note: the draw and blur buttons don’t seem to work yet. It’s a great idea. It might be tough to include the functionality of draw/blur in a bookmarklet, but I like the goal.
Shout at: negative feedback
It looks like UserTesting invested more time and effort on the negative feedback form. That makes sense. I’m willing to bet most feedback will be…constructive.
So you ‘submit’ your feedback by clicking the button. Then what happens? This is what really interests me. How does UserTesting.com plan to get your feedback to the owner of the website? I still have no idea. This form sheds some light, but it’s clearly not done yet.
It looks like the form is asking for users’ help in finding contact information for the website owners.
As of this writing, there are actually 2 Shout pages on UserTesting.com, peek and shout.usertesting.com. Shout is the one from UserTesting’s email. I found the Peek one in Google. Shout doesn’t let you install the bookmark yet, but Peek does. See update below.
So sign up! I did. Looking forward to the full release.
Update: UserTesting Responds
Wed, Apr 22, 2015, 2:03pm: I got an email from Ben Camp at UserTesting.com thanking me for the write-up and providing a point of clarification. The google results which showed me UserTesting’s Peek product were a mistake. Peek is a different product entirely.
The peek.usertesting.com URL has been corrected and now shout.usertesting.com is the only way to access Shout’s landing page. As of this update, the Shout page only offers its coming soon message. So my screenshots will have to do for now.
Here’s the email I got from Ben in its entirety:
Thanks for the write up about Shout. Great to hear your perspective on it. I loved the “in depth” reporting with all the screenshots.
In the post, you link to https://peek.usertesting.com, which at the moment accidentally is showing the Shout landing page. This is a mistake on our end, that should be fixed soon. “Peek” is actually a standalone free product of ours (if you haven’t checked it out, you should!), which happens to share the same server.
All that to say, the link at the bottom of your post is going to be confusing to people once we make the change.
Thanks for your email, Ben. And thanks again for the awesome testing product. Looking forward to seeing what it can become.