Since April 2010, the industry has been waiting for a genuine competitor to the iPad. While there are dozens of Android tablets on the market, none have made a serious dent in Apple's market share, which is hovering at a healthy 80% of tablet sales
Enter the Kindle Fire.
How can Amazon, an online retailer and a relative latecomer, stand to steal market share away from Apple and be a real contender in the tablet space, when seasoned consumer electronics companies like Samsung and Motorola have yet to make a serious dent?
What are these types of usability testing tools?
Here at Macadamian, our UX researchers have had the opportunity lately to explore and assess a number of different online remote usability testing tools for evaluating designs that do not require a test facilitator.
These types of testing tools, sometime known as web app testing tools, remote usability testing tools, allow test participants to provide feedback on designs by completing a self-conducted usability evaluation. For those that develop a test, many of these usability testing tools allow screenshots or pages to be referenced by entering a URL for a webpage or uploading an image.
The tools allow users to then add pre-populated or customized questions to these pages. Once a test has been prepared, the tools allow test participants to answer these questions with points and/ or notes. A few examples of remote usability testing tools include the following: Kampyle, UserFly, ClickTale, CrazyEgg, Usabilla, Loop11, and Verify.
Today we are celebrating our 14th anniversary here at Macadamian. Yup, Macadamian is now 14. This brings all sorts of souvenirs: the initial setup, the ups the downs of running a business etc. The flashbacks are all rushing into my head. The times when you feel you're on the top of the world and the times when the only thing you really want is to find a rock to crawl under. The memories are so real. All in all we are doing amazingly well and I'm grateful for that, so every year we make it a point to celebrate another year - another candle!
One of our beliefs at Macadamian is that user experience and software quality are intertwined. To the end-customer, a poorly designed UI creates the impression that the product is of low quality, even if the code is well crafted and well tested. Likewise, poor engineering and quality control (bugs, crashes, etc) create a very poor user experience. Now, the quality and the user experience design of the software embedded in everyday objects - cars, appliances, etc. - are influencing customer's perceptions of the overall quality of the product.
Witness this year's JD Power's automotive quality ratings - the automotive industry's go-to guide on initial vehicle quality. Despite making huge advances in overall build quality, interior design, ride quality, and ergonomics, Ford dropped from a 5th place ranking to 23rd. Why? Customers complained that Ford's new in-vehicle entertainment system, Sync, and MyFord Touch, are buggy, overly complex, and hard to use. I'm one of those customers - my Ford Flex is a wonderful vehicle, but if I try to use the voice recognition to turn on the radio, Sync turns on the air conditioning. The drop in ratings shouldn't be a surpise to Ford or anyone in the industry - the same thing happened to BMW a few years ago with their much maligned iDrive system.
What's the lesson? Same as always:
- More overall attention to design - especially some concept testing with real users - would have uncovered most of the issues with the latest version of Sync.
- Err on the site of fewer features. Typically there are only a few your customers will really find valuable and use daily. Packing features into a product just because you think they are cool is so 90s.
- You always have to be willing to cut or delay a feature that simply isn't market-ready, no matter what you have invested and how much you've hyped it. It almost always comes back to bite you.
Between the rush to “get something out on Android” and the expectation that mobile projects should be quick and easy, teams often do not invest in the upfront product planning required to make their first foray into Android a success. Read our new whitepaper aptly titled Your First Android Release - It Could Go Well (Or Really, Really Badly)