I’ve been watching our venture into informal user testing at Cre8asiteforums. There are presently two BETA applications being explored by willing volunteers, from various countries, computer experience and interests. What strikes me is how well each company’s programmers are taking the news.
Explore or review: Textic Talk
Because this application requires a mouse (so far), it differs from screen readers. The added bonus is that it has an MP3 option whereby you record web pages, to playback later at your convenience.
Explore or review: Ask3.com
This was our debut into forums functional testing. It’s been one of our most popular threads in the Website Hospital. The company, JustASKthem.com, has sent their President, Vice President and Lead JAVA programmer to respond to questions, and user feedback, as it comes in.
Their’s is a survey application, JAVA-based, that resides inside selected web pages and rotates a series of 3 questions. The data collection system, called SMART, collects data, sorts it, cross tabs it, lets you ask it questions and over the long term, provides expert marketing data used for statistical analysis. It’s inventor has a strong background in customer service call center data.
The application has been in development for years, and arrived at a point where actual users were critical to the next steps. Hence, this is where our forum came in.
None of the testing is guided, expertly managed or requirements based. It’s essentially a “come pound on our stuff” so we can watch how it performs. In addition, everyone has opinions and in both cases, are able to ask direct questions from the developers.
All this, for free.