UT Tool – Problem Steps Recorder – win7























one of my fav tool which i use when i get in to client discussion or app understanding phase. This is in built app for Win7 and it captures screenshot + gives you some basic document(please try out, its interesting to read :)). 


Incase i dont have any screen video recorder, ll go for this and it takes snaps of your action. Other important part, you can use this images for your own presentation purpose or documentation purpose.



Problem Steps Recorder – win7 [I m not sure about winXP or vista]
Purpose — Records screen[visual] + User’s reaction[text]
Result—– MHML
Who can use ?
– support engineers as
– software developers
– UX engineers
Benefits—
– Easier to receive a bug or problem ticket in much more detail.
– Developers will be enable to reproduce the steps that is causing an error
– Support engineers or help desk responsibles will be able to visualize and catch the problem
– Screenshots with very light file size

Demo – http://www.istartedsomething.com/20090111/windows-7-problem-steps-recorder-miracle-tool/

Tool for doing UI mockups

Here is one of the best online available tool for UI Mockups

http://www.balsamiq.com/

Click on the containers tab, and drag a new dialog/window onto the page. Click the dialog/window and then look at the little pop-up on the right. You can trivially add a scrollbar and indicate where the thumb should be. You can turn on/off the icons in the top right corner. Adjust the status bar region.

Its very user friendly and very easy to use .. we folks can have hand on this…

We need to download this for use…

here is the print screen of application

Interesting point is even Microsoft Expression team is coming up with SketchFlow in its coming BLEND 3. This will be great for all …

here u go for detail information Click Here

In addition to the SketchFlow and the infamous Balsamiq, I would also like to add another nifty tool called FlairBuilder.

Its good and impressive tool, please have a demo walkthrough. Click here









Others
– Microsoft Office Visio
– PowerPoint – My Fav:)

Usability Testing Softwares

Usability Testing is one of the important phase of UCD process, its the last but most important part. Usability testing gives the exact information about the User’s experience on product.

What is Usability Testing Software or Environment ?
The automated Usability Test Environment (UTE) Tool is software used to collect, analyze, and report the results of scenario-based Web site usability tests. The UTE Tool helps federal Web managers efficiently and effectively test their Web sites to make them more citizen-centric.

Recently I have came across some products which are very good

1. MOREA from Techsmith [licence— WINDOWS]
2. Uservue from Techsmith [licence— WINDOWS]
3. Userfocus [Free]
4. Jink
[Free]
4. Silverbackapp
[licence— APPLE MAC]

+ Google Analytic is excellent tool .. it gives you the complete information about site, visitors, from which part of country, what content they r looking for, what keywords they r looking for, how long they r on ur site… .etc .etc. Lot of information with graphical representation. This helps you to understand your ROI part.

This is useful especially if you create a site for your business. Using Analytics’s sophisticated and easy to use tools you can even find out which geographic area your visitors come from. To use Google Analytics on your site, all you have to do is sign-in to the Analytics website google/anaytics. You will be given tracking ID code. This need to be entered within your site, this simple javascript which helps Google/analytics to track your site.

To check the statistics, just sign in google/analytic with your google id. This will give you the dashboard with all valuable information, which will improve ROI of your website.

Morea
Use Morae to record exactly what customers do and say, discover patterns in the data, key in on significant moments, and build a compelling case for how to improve the customer experience.
To know in detail, how it works there is one good article here with description and graphis… please visit here
Thanks to JOEL SPOLSKY

Uservue
Want to see someone else’s screen and record what they’re doing? Talk to them as they’re using Web sites? Immediately understand what they’re doing?
Real users, real feedback

UserVue is an online service that lets you remotely observe and record users’ desktops as they navigate applications and sites:

  • Perform user testing
  • user research
  • design feedback
  • on projects

Userfocus
Most people use Microsoft Excel to analyse the results of usability tests, but did you know you can use it to collect the data too? This spreadsheet allows you to measure task completion rates, analyse questionnaire data, and summarise participant comments. It even includes a timer so you can measure time-on-task. The spreadsheet is highly customisable

Jink
It records what users see, do, and talk on a computer. With a web cam, you can also record their facial expression. The limitation is that recording time is capped at 15 minutes.
Video tutorial

Webnographer
Webnographer is a new tool for Asynchronous Un-Moderated Remote User Testing.

It enables fast user testing outside of the labs. Development team are able to get results back in a couple of hours using more than the normal number of participants, and far cheaper.
blog:- http://blog.feralabs.com/category/webnographer/
Product site:- http://www.webnographer.com/

Rajesh to U[online friends]:— Please add more to this list if you know any Software or tool which helps to understand experience of users. Looking for responses… 🙂


Great Open Source free tools + CMS for web development

Hi all

Love to say thanks to Nathan Jeffery for sharing some of the great and useful open source tool links here with full description

m just doing mirror of Nathan’s mail and adding some links from my end 🙂

Great Open Source tools for web development

Tools
http://www.gimp.org/ (for editing images to use on your sites)
http://inkscape.org/ (scalable vector creation and editing tool, can
also import other formats)
http://www.blender.org/ (3d designs for really effective headers and
buttons)
http://www.wampserver.com/en/ (a stack for windows of Apache, MySQL,
Php for local development)
http://sourceforge.net/projects/notepad-plus/ (text editor for
creating your HTML, CSS and PHP)
http://www.panic.com/coda/ (text editor for mac)
http://macromates.com/ (text editor for mac)
http://www.apple.com/downloads/macosx/development_tools/ (tools for
mac)
http://www.netbeans.org/ (cross platform IDE, don’t use the WYSIWYG
only use the text editor)
http://www.python.org/ (for advanced cross platform programming)
http://www.mysql.com/ (open source database engine)
http://www.postgresql.org/ (opensource database engine)
http://www.php.net/ (server side scripting language)
http://www.google.com/webmasters/ (site and keyword analysis tools)
http://browsershots.org/ (for getting an idea of what your site looks
like on different setups)
http://www.quirk.biz/emarketingtextbook/download (free ebook on
emarketing)

Browsers: (it’s good to test locally in as many environments as
possible)
http://www.apple.com/safari/ (PC and Mac)
http://www.mozilla-europe.org/en/firefox/ (cross platform)
http://www.google.com/chrome (currently windows)
http://www.opera.com/ (PC and Mac)

Skills
http://w3schools.com/ (awesome learning centre)
http://www.tizag.com/ (more learning resources)
http://www.csszengarden.com/ (info on CSS, will save you tons of
time)
http://www.oswd.org/ (example CSS websites and downloads to use and
learn from)
http://www.w3.org/ (web standards and resources for learning, they
set the rules)

Content Management Systems (either use as is, modified or learn from
them they’re opensource)
http://www.joomla.org/
Online Tutorial for JOOMLA
http://www.magentocommerce.com/
http://oscommerce.com/
http://drupal.org/
http://typo3.org/
Ning [Create Social Networking Site] — http://artsrajesh.ning.com/
Open Source CMS lists

Project Management Systems (either use as is, modified or learn from
them they’re opensource)

http://www.projectpier.org/ [Project Management Tool]
http://www.37signals.com/
http://www.taskfreak.com/

e-learning
www.elearn.cdac.in

UX Designer vs UX Researcher

It’s a very interesting point, true! Sometimes we find it difficult to define these terms such as User experience, Usability, Usability engineering, Usability testing….. .etc

Fine, let me try to define in a very simple way… because once we understand anything from a layman’s side or from the top… then its not difficult to put our own logic and drill it

I am just sharing my knowledge here, Please feel free to correct me if i am wrong in approach

Note: Any term like Usability, User, audience.. these comes into the picture when we are developing or creating any product for USERS.
I am mentioning this, because there are number of sites which are abstract.. they don’t worry about users, example most of Artist’s Profile on net.
Simply we can say USER is our Super hero of this development cycle

In brief.. there are different stages of any user related product/project [this is from the front hand[User interface] side..]

1. Research and Analysis
2. Information Architecture
3. Wireframe/ Blueprint/Prototype
4. Mood Boards
5. User Interface Design
6. Development
7. Usability Testing
8. Bug Fixing
9. Production

Just to make it very simple, I am just giving importance to User Experience Researcher and Designer’s Role

I. Research and Analysis, Information Architecture, Wireframe User Experience Researcher’s Role
Process of discovering…

  • Who the users are
  • How they think and work
  • The Stake holders goals and objectives


Collecting Data on

  • Users profiles
  • Work environment
  • Scenarios of how user’s will use the interface
  • Task Analysis


II. Mood Boards, User Interface Design User Experience Designer’s Role
User Interface Skins/ template design

  • Understanding the Brand guidelines of product/project, if its existing or setting new guidelines in case of new
  • Template design based on wireframe and Mood boards


USABILITY TESTING— EYETRACKING—

USABILITY TESTING— EYETRACKING—

DO YOU KNOW

  • What your users are looking at?
  • Which parts of your website are attracting the most attention?
  • What information your users are ignoring?
  • Which areas are merely distracting your users from finding what they really want?

Eye tracking is the important phase of usability testing, which answers all these questions allowing you to focus on making the most important information on your website also the most visible.
Demo of eye tracking [from http://www.etre.com]

In demo

  • Dot shows user’s eye moments
  • User looks, what attracts, likes, dislikes

Each circles will be displayed with scores, this gives clear picture how long user was there on that particular place on interface. Big circle or highest marks shows users interest in that content.

Results from Eye Tracking

  • Series of random moments [graphically Zig Zag lines] represent that user was disturbed by layout
  • Series of control moment [graphically linear lines] shows that user was reading

Final out put
INDIVIDUAL SESSION MAP
It tells most about individual behavior

HEAT MAPS
Tells the behavior of entire group of people

  • bright colors map to show the entire result
  • Warm color represents:– Most Noticed
  • Patch color represents:– Gone through
  • Black color represent:– User ignored or didnt notice, This part will help out lot to understand the biggest negative part of interface.