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User Testing your myBalsamiq Prototypes with UserZoom

· Posted by Mike in Products and tagged · 3 Comments

The following is a guest post by UserZoom.

Testing prototypes and wireframes with unmoderated remote usability testing tools is not only cost-effective, but timesaving as well. These are very important considerations for any designer - especially if he/she is designing on an agile timeline.

In this article, we will show you how to test your myBalsamiq prototypes with UserZoom, an “all-in-one” solution for remote user experience research. Whether your prototype is “skin-and-bones” or high fidelity, testing with UserZoom is a breeze.

Most of the UserZoom remote unmoderated studies consist of the following: a welcome screen, an initial survey-like questionnaire, tasks with branching logic (the heart of the study), validation and final questionnaire. Let’s break this process into 5 easy steps. We’ll be using a Kayak prototype for the illustration purposes:

1. Launch myBalsamiq project in prototype mode

First, you have to create your mockup in myBalsamiq and link all the pages in order to create a clickable prototype. Then, click on the Launch Prototype arrow, which is just below the New Mockup button.

After launching the prototype, you will see the URL of your project in a new window. This is the URL that you need for creating a study in UserZoom.

2. Create a study in UserZoom

To get started, click on Create new project. Then, select a tracking type from the dropdown menu. There are a total of three tracking options:

  • no tracking needed
  • tracking with add-on (requires participants to download an Add-on)
  • tracking with JS code (requires tagging webpages with JS code)

Tracking enables UserZoom to capture behavioral data, such as clickstreams and heatmaps, from participants.

Give your project a name and you are all ready to move to your remote usability study setup.

3. Setup your study

Creating the study welcome screen

The welcome screen is the first screen participants see as they enter the study. It is a mandatory page that contains the terms of use and privacy policy. A welcome page should briefly explain what participants should expect during the study and should include information on how long the study will take.

Creating the Initial Questionnaire

The initial questionnaire can be used to gather demographic information and other pre-task metrics. To add a question, click the Add Question button and then choose a question type from the drop down selector.

UserZoom allows you to create screenshot click testing and screenshot timeout tasks in your initial questionnaire as well. Here is an example of a click test question that we had for the Kayak prototype. 

Please click once on the page where you would go to manage your itinerary.

Creating a Navigation Task

During a navigation task, participants are provided with a goal and sent to a starting webpage. Participants are allowed to navigate freely in an attempt to complete the goal. Navigation tasks can be designed with validation (by URL or by a question) to determine whether participants are successful.

The first step when creating a navigation task is to enter the starting URL. This is the
webpage that all participants will start from. This is were you want to enter the URL of your myBalsamiq prototype.

The task description is positioned right below the Starting URL field. It is the initial mandatory page for a navigation task and should contain a full description of the task that the participants are asked to perform.

The simplified task description is used as a persistent reminder message as participants navigate.

Task Validation

UserZoom supports multiple task configurations to accommodate a wide range of study designs. The most commonly utilized setup involves using validation and sending participants to specific questionnaires based on task performance. By utilizing branching logic, you can setup timeout, error, abandon and success questionnaires.

UserZoom offers a total of three possible validation settings: Self-reported, Validation by question, and Validation by URL.

Self-reported validation: With self-reported validation a participant is counted as successful when they click the Success button in the UserZoom browser bar.

Validation by Question: Validation questions are choice based questions that have specific “correct answers”. A participant is counted as successful upon choosing at least one correct answer.

Validation by URL: You can assign any number of “success” URLs. When a participant is navigating through a URL validated task and if they reach a “success” URL, they will be counted as successful.

The Final Questionnaire

The final questionnaire is the last questionnaire in the study and will be shown to all the participants by default. The final questionnaire is an opportunity to gather feedback on a participant’s overall experience. To create a question in the final questionnaire click on the Add question button and select a question type from the drop down menu.

4. Recruiting participants

There are three different ways to recruit participants for a UserZoom study:

Through a panel supplier: UserZoom includes a Recruiting quote link that will connect you directly with our recruiting partners. Alternatively you can choose to work with your own preferred panel vendor.

Through a study link: UserZoom includes two types of invitation links for participant recruitment: the email distribution link and the unique link. The Email Distribution Link is a single link that can be used unlimited number of times. The Unique Link is good for a single entry into a study.

Through an intercept invitation: The intercept layer is a method used for capturing real users of a website. UserZoom can generate customizable intercept layers to appear on one or more pages of a website.

5. Analyze the results

UserZoom gathers rich user experience data and allows researchers to perform advanced analysis. Some of the metrics that you can get include effectiveness & efficiency ratios, visual clickstream paths, click heatmaps, popular words (text clouds), satisfaction & perception indicators, cluster analysis & dendograms. In addition, UserZoom’s analytics dashboard allows you to do advanced data analysis and filter results by task, page, user, and time.

Figure 1. Task effectiveness and efficiency

Figure 2. Clickstream

Figure 3. Heatmap


In summary, UserZoom allows you to get really valuable user data on your myBalsamiq prototypes. All you need is the URL to your prototype and a set of tasks that you would like to test.

The importance of user testing your prototypes cannot be overemphasized. This is the point in time when critical design decisions set the stage for all that will follow. With remote unmoderated usability testing, you can collect feedback quickly and cost-effectively, which is key in agile design.

Mike for the Balsamiq Team

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Comments (3)

  1. This looks awesome tool, is there any one time license fee option available for this? We already have balasmiq license which has little different licensing.

    Thanks for post.

  2. Hi Mark. Thanks for your comment.

    UserZoom offers a high-end, feature-rich, highly customizable software solution combined with hands-on customer service and support. For now, we’ve chosen to target the highly demanding Enterprise market. Hence, our pricing strategy is based on this position. Who knows, perhaps in the future things will change…

  3. This looks very cool. Pricing seems high, though. Is 1,000/month really the lowest plan or am I missing something?