User-Testing your myBalsamiq Prototypes with Kupima
I'm a big fan of using Balsamiq Mockups to help shape the design of a new website, or to compare proposed enhancements without the pain of actually building them. It's the smart way to do things, and so I was delighted to see myBalsamiq offering all that was great about the Mockups tool, but in a way that fits in with modern distributed teams. It's exciting that people can collaborate from anywhere in the world and help build better things.
Of course, building great designs is fine and well, but the beauty of myBalsamiq is that it's so quick and easy to create a number of different interpretations and evaluate each in turn. To do this does require stepping outside of myBalsamiq, however, and making use of some kind of user feedback tool. You could, of course, get your friends to give feedback but if you're running as a distributed team, why not use the same approach and use the 'power of the cloud' for your feedback as well?
Kupima is one tool you can use. Kupima is all about getting video reviews of how real users use a website in combination with what they think about that website. It's a bit like getting someone in to 'test drive' your site without the hassle and, more importantly, without the risk of pestering your friends and family with 'yet another test'. What's more, using an existing user panel such as we have ensures that you're getting fresh eyes on your site.
You can use Kupima to get feedback on your myBalsamiq prototypes quite easily. After all, what myBalsamiq gives you is effectively a kind of 'wireframed website' anyway, so it's not really so different to testing a completed site. What's more, by using Kupima at this stage you can get fresh insight from real users to help steer your design toward something that is effective and usable.
How to test your myBalsamiq prototype using Kupima
It's easy: firstly, if you've not tried Kupima before, sign up here and choose the number of users you want to receive video reviews from. I generally recommend 5 users to start with, as with that number you'll likely identify 80%+ of any problems or usability issues with your design.
Once you've signed-up, you can either choose one of our existing template tests or create your own from scratch. Whichever you choose depends on the type of feedback you are after. For this article, we'll create a test from scratch so that you can see how easy it can be:
Simply put the link to the myBalsamiq prototype starting page in the field called Website Address. If you're wondering where to get this address from, press the myBalsamiq Launch Prototype button (which looks like an arrow) just below the New Mockup button, and copying the url from the new browser window:
Back in Kupima, you can also select the number of users that you want to take your test. Note that you can, if you like, choose to have your own users take the test. Otherwise, you can specify a target demographic profile which matches your 'typical' user:
You can then set individual tasks or test steps for each user to perform during their test. I recommend thinking carefully about what you want to achieve from your test so that you can guide users toward the pages of most interest. Of course, maybe you're just after general first impressions, in which case you might want the users to explore freely...
The final step of setting up your test is to set some questions. Kupima offers two main categories of question; the first is the written question, which allows users to provide open-ended opinion and suggest improvements to your design:
The second is the discrete question, which limits the responses to one or more fixed values. This allows you to extract real data from your results across the entire set of test participants.
Once you've created your questions (and paid the test fee, of course ;-) then users matching your target demographic will be notified and will take your test. Each time one of them completes the test and uploads their video, you'll get an email notification and can view their response. When the test is done, you can also view the summarised questionnaire responses and generate a PDF test report.
User testing your designs is a very worthwhile step; the earlier you involve users, the more effective your design will be and the better your website will end up. To make it all the more tempting, we've included a special offer so that you can try out Kupima at a discounted rate. Simply set your test up and then enter the following code at the payment page to receive a discount: KMYBALSAMIQ30
Please get in touch with us at Kupima if you have any questions - we'd love to be able to help you get the most from your designs!