Big brother is watching Make your site easy to use with usability favorite Morae

Posted by tom klein June 29, 2007

Do you know what your customer is thinking while using your website?  Well, that’s nearly impossible. But, given the rage of ethnography in marketing research, what if you had the ability to get instantaneous feedback by watching not only their actions on the screen, but also their expressions as they point and click?

Techsmith’s Morae software gives you the ability to do just that.  Via the internet and this software, you can now identify precisely where your web site fails your customers – causing everything from abandoned shopping carts to expensive conversations with the call center.  With Morae for usability testing, you can gather all of the data you need, including wrinkled brows and expletives. To see some of the Morae software in action, check out their online demo or view a few screen shots of some of the new features available.

For $1495 you can get the Morae bundle (1 manager, 1 recorder and 1 observer) to create one usability station, through which you can rotate an unlimited number of users. It’s not super cheap, but smart players like E-trade, eBay, and Expedia use it.  What’s your plan for delivering the optimal user experience?

Morae uses Rich Recording Technology (PDF overview of RRT) to chronicle events when a user interacts with a site. Mind you, this data includes the clickstream (where your user moves and clicks on your site), interactions with the computer's operating system or desktop software (say, using a printer), and the video input. It then fuses all of this information together, so you can analyze how your site performs versus the expectation or norm.

This type of testing puts your customer in the driver's seat. Before you hand over the keys, make sure that you're working with customers who represent your targeted customer segment(s). There can be an enormous difference between how a web site performs with mom compared to a game-savvy teen.  Usability testing, like almost everything else you do to grow your business, will add the most value when you have a clear understanding of your target.

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