News

We’re proud to donate usability tests & sponsor The Amazing Startup

Posted by Igor on July 07th, 2014

Usually, the earlier usability testing is prioritized in a company’s life cycle, the better the product turns out. A better product means more and happier customers, and needless to say, is often correlated with overall success.

That’s why we’re sponsoring The Amazing Startup web series. It’s a YouTube series that invokes the know-how of industry experts to answer tough questions faced by every startup and spark meaningful conversation. The best startup ideas will vie for prize packages.

Loop11 will donate 10 usability projects (valued at $350 apiece), one for each participating team, as well as annual licenses for the winner and runner-up (valued at $9,900 each).

We believe strongly in user testing early and user testing often. While startups sometimes defer this process in favor of less rigorous, more anecdotal product validation, there are several arguments for integrating usability testing into a company’s early user experience enhancement practices:

1. Building a beautiful, rich and simple user experience can set a company apart in an arena where predecessor may have failed. Consider Apple’s iPod, for instance, which was far from the first portable music player on the market.

2. Small mistakes in usability can result in big conversion gaps. Usability testing can play a big part in getting your conversion funnel right.

3. User testing occasionally uncovers the type of learning that empowers a startup to pivot and develop an even more useful product. Without testing, the startup may lose time and pivot later (or never).

Conducting a remote, unmoderated usability test doesn’t even require a fully designed and built out product. It’s possible to test the wireframes and get significant insights ahead of development, saving engineering time and money.

On The Amazing Startup, participants will present their business plan, the problem it solves, and launch strategy. The judges will then score the participant’s overall business plan in categories like Novelty, Feasibility, Scalability, and Social Impact. Based on these calculations, the top 10 teams will be invited to participate in the first season of the show.

While the popular television show, Shark Tank, has an aspect of passion and creativity, the judges are far-removed venture capitalists who go straight to heckling over investment figures. The Amazing Startup series will focus instead on the expert advice, industry experience, and guidance offered by the judges. The first episode is planned to premiere during Tech Week NYC in October.

We’re proud to be part of the show. Interested in becoming a participant on The Amazing Startup? You can apply here.

UX Awards 2014 – Submit your best projects and get 15% off on us!

Posted by clare on May 09th, 2014

We’re extremely excited to announce our sponsorship of the 4th Annual International UXAwards, the premier awards for exceptional digital experience. This is the fourth year running that Loop11 has been a sponsor and a supporter of these great UX awards!

By honoring the most talented UX innovators, highlighting exceptional UX best practices and showcasing next-generation digital products, the “UXies” inspire technologists to create elegant, human-centered products that solve real customer problems.

This year, the UXies will be held from September 11-12, 2014 in sunny San Francisco, California. The 2014 UX judging panel is comprised of top UX thought leaders and practitioners from Etsy, Amazon, GE, LUXR, Facebook, HUGE and Frog.

Interested in submitting? The UXies welcome submissions from all levels, including agencies, companies, individuals and students. All prospective UXers are invited to enter online at UXAwards.org from May 1 to June 15, 2014. Be sure to use discount code “UXAwardsSupporter” to receive 15% off your entry!

The 2014 awards showcase will also feature the UXies celebration and advanced UX training workshops. These will…

  • • Showcase each winning product and celebrate the creators
  • • Share UX practitioners’ creative processes and approaches
  • • Reveal each expert judge’s evaluation process and perspective
  • • Offer concentrated and advanced UX training and education from the judges and other invited expert speakers
  • • Provide many informal opportunities to meet winners, judges, applicants, senior UX professionals, hiring companies and UX service providers

Check out the schedule and buy tickets - and be sure to use discount code “UXAwardsSupporter” for 15% off any ticket level!  Visit UXAwards.org for more information.

UXA2014Logo-XP

“You in UX” 2014 usability summit — Tweet and attend for free!

Posted by clare on May 01st, 2014

In our last post we talked about our sponsorship of You in UX 2014 and how Loop11 is providing some great deals for usability fans. So, what makes this event so special? We’ve got the details on why You in UX is revolutionary and why you should be interested.

Whether you’re a professional or just someone with a general interest in user experience, You in UX provides valuable presentations to enhance career development, critical business skills and more. By focusing on the importance of leadership and personal involvement in the field, You in UX encourages us to consider how we can leverage the future of UX and build meaningful business.

The You in UX global summit is hosting 40 talks from professionals across the UX spectrum. Featured presenters include (among many others): Dr. Genevieve Bell (Director of User Experience Research at Intel), Joey Benedek (Director, Product Manager at Blackberry), and Melanie Fitzgerald (Staff UX Research Lead at YouTube).

Don’t miss out on this great web-based opportunity (that’s right, you can attend every panel in your pajamas!). Looking to score a free ticket to the event? Tell us your #1 golden rule for UX/usability via Twitter, and be sure to include @Loop11 and #YouinUX in your tweet. We’ll choose the 6 best “golden rules” and give away 6 free tickets to the You in UX summit!

 for a chance to win 1 of 6 free tickets to the You in UX online conference.

Loop11 is a proud sponsor of “You in UX” 2014

Posted by clare on April 24th, 2014

We are proud to announce our sponsorship of the 2014 You in UX Global Career Summit, happening online from May 5-22. This premier event features 40 UX leaders presenting on opportunities for attendees looking to learn more about professional UX career development.

The summit is entirely webinar-based. Attendants have the option of viewing live sessions and participating in Q&A discussions with the presenters, or viewing the presentations at their own pace.

So what can you expect from Loop11? As a ‘Trail Blazer’ sponsor, we’re excited to be hosting a creative competition through You in UX’s Spark on This!—a daily mini-sweepstakes that features fun and exciting aspects of life as a UXer. The prize? One annual license to Loop11, valued at up to $9,900! We’re also giving away $350 (USD) worth of Loop11 projects to all summit attendees to leverage their online UX testing through our powerful platform.

If you’re interested in UX and looking for some career inspiration, You in UX has extended its early bird registration to April 18th, 2014. Followers of Loop11 can receive $40 off of the early bird registration price ($295) by using code: SPLOOP1114 when purchasing.

From all of us at the Loop11 team—we hope to see you there!

New book provides context for Loop11′s accessibility testing services

Posted by Erin Clingenpeel on January 31st, 2014

Sarah Horton and Whitney Quesenbery recently wrote a book called A Web for Everyone that talks about the struggles people with disabilities encounter online and how modern web developers can help to lift this burden.

Quesenbery and Horton’s book brings web developers into the conversation by providing various examples that people with disabilities run into while interacting with modern technology – like Trevor, the Autistic boy with a high aptitude for technology who gets overwhelmed by a site that’s too complicated, or Jacob, the highly-intelligent paralegal who’s been blind since birth, or Maria, the community coordinator who prefers to look up information in Spanish.

These examples give a face to a statistic, they allow the web developers to see how large the population is, and the suggestions prove helpful to a company that doesn’t know what to do to help this population. The book also provides practical advice about how to do this through a slew of easy-to-read ideas and techniques.

Good news. You can get 20% off your purchase of A Web for Everyone with coupon code LOOP11.

This book matters because the global population of people with disabilities is growing every year. They have money and time to spend on your services, and they’re not going to spend that money if they’re overwhelmed by the roadblocks your site puts in front of them. Many companies are already trying to make their sites more accessible, so isn’t it time for you to do the same?

As Horton and Quesenbery mention, Loop11 has made modern usability testing affordable and accessible. We’ve recently expanded our efforts to include accessibility testing, and we’ve joined forces with Knowbility to provide a group of people with disabilities willing to be participants in usability tests.

If we can be of help to you with an accessibility testing project, get in touch with Loop11 today. 

 

[New feature] Now, you can customize the participant interface

Posted by jacob on November 19th, 2013

We’re excited to announce a new Loop11 feature that’s now available to all users.

When you set up your next usability test, you’ll notice you can now customize the interface participants see. You may upload a logo as well as choose primary and secondary colors for the text and buttons participants will use during the usability study.

For instance, if Amazon were to run a usability test today, rather than the previously standard green background and Loop11 branding, the participant interface can be customized to look like this:

  Amazon 1

 Amazon 2

The customization feature can be configured in Step 1 of the project creation process. When setting up your usability test, you will now be able to “Create a new theme,” as pictured below.

 

 Amazon 3

 

Each account may have several different themes, and each theme enables you to add a custom logo and define six unique colors and attributes, as seen below.

 

Amazon 4

 

We’re excited to hear your feedback as you experiment with this feature, so please let us know your thoughts in the comments!

Customer experience vs. user experience, and why it matters

Posted by Igor on November 06th, 2013

The design and user research community is all abuzz with the “customer experience” and its importance as a complement to user experience. What do the two terms mean and can businesses win by taking both areas seriously? That’s what this blog post will explore.

Before we dig deeper, let’s define our terms.

Customer experience vs. user experience

Customer experience encompasses your customer’s, or prospective customer’s, entire experience of your brand. It spans the complete conversion funnel from how they discovered your business, to the moment they landed on the website, their trials and tribulations when using it, their purchase experience, all efforts by your business to re-engage them (e.g. marketing emails, ads and retargeting), and how they experience coming back to purchase a second time. Any help or support team interaction is part of the customer experience, too. And when that customer walks into the brick and mortar location of your business after purchasing online — even that is part of the customer experience.

User experience speaks to a critical segment of the world of interactions described above: it refers to your prospective customer’s relationship with digital interfaces. How that prospective customer, or user, experiences and behaves within your brand’s website, mobile site or software — that’s user experience.

So which one deserves more focus? How should a business ensure both customer experience and user experience are top-notch? And why is this an important distinction?

User experience foreshadows the customer experience 

Simon Sinek gives an interesting TED Talk about how great leaders inspire action, and I’ll save you 18 minutes by summarizing what is arguably the top takeaway: “People don’t buy what you do. They buy why you do it.”

He gives the example of Apple and discusses why they’ve been so successful selling portable music devices when no other computer company has had much luck in that marketplace from a revenue perspective. He posits the iPod sells because Apple believes that technology should be incredibly simple to interact with, and more importantly, we believe it too. We buy iPods because we share that philosophy, and not because we think Apple, a computer company, is the best qualified firm to design and manufacture portable music players.

In the same way, the user experience your business offers online says a lot about:

1. What your business believes.

2. What the customer can expect from your business now and always.

Customers take cues from the web experience you show them — important cues about what it will be like to continue interacting with your company, to buy from your company once or many times, and to get technical or customer support from your company.

In this way, your website’s (or mobile site’s) user experience isn’t just a subcategory of the larger, more relevant beast called “customer experience.” It’s a piece of the customer experience, yes, but your potential customers view your user experience as litmus test that foreshadows what the larger customer experience will be like.

Moreover, your potential customer is highly likely to be a web user first. That means you have a chance to win them over with your user experience and earn the opportunity to give them a larger tour of the “customer experience” mansion. It’s also a chance to lose them in the foyer if the user experience doesn’t stand up to the challenge.

We can all name high-profile companies who have focused on the customer experience and won. Their customers are more likely to be evangelists and more likely to return and purchase again year after year. They also build a tougher skin for the occasional bad service experience when loyalty has been established.

REI, Trader Joe’s, MailChimp — these are businesses that have scored big on the philosophy that an excellent customer experience at every turn and every interaction with the company is of paramount importance.

If you transact a significant chunk of your business on the web, that customer experience begins online and user experience is central. To win your prospects over and deliver stellar user experience, of course, requires testing. You have to ask them, methodically, scientifically, to tell you by the numbers whether your website or mobile site is doing its job and whether they’d recommend it to a friend.

When you’re ready to start testing, sign up for a free trial of Loop11 and your first usability testing project is on us.

[Infographic] Why you must invest in mobile usability testing

Posted by Igor on October 07th, 2013

Simple guide to benchmarking website usability

Posted by Chris on July 16th, 2013

If you’re looking to run a benchmarking study to assess website usability, one solid playbook to reference is Jeff Sauro‘s post, published yesterday, on How To Benchmark Website Usability.

Jeff lays out a step-by-step guide describing what you need to consider when setting up your benchmarking study, from designing the study, to executing it and analyzing the results. He walks through critical steps like:

  • Identifying the right users to test
  • Finding the users
  • Defining the tasks
  • Defining test metrics
  • Choosing sample sizes
  • Analyzing the results of your benchmarking study

The post also provides a comparison (based on price and features) of some of the top testing tools, including our usability testing toolset.

Read the full article here on Measuring Usability.

Loop11 is a proud partner in hosting the User Experience Awards

Posted by jacob on March 22nd, 2013

We’re proud to be sponsoring the User Experience Awards this year!  The UX Awards honor exceptional user experience design in digital products and services, as well as their creators.

Submissions run from now until May 15 2013, with the final Awards taking place during NY Internet Week on May 21, 2013. Last year, several startups won awards alongside digital agencies, tech and media companies. There are also cash prizes of up to $1,000 for the Grand Prize. Follow @UXAwards for the latest info.

The event starts at 5:30 and is taking place in Tishman Auditorium at the Parsons School of Design in New York.

If you’re curious about prizes: there will be one Grand Prize, three Gold, three Silver and Bronze. The Grand Prize winner also receives $1000, while Gold winners receive $250. All winners also receive additional prizes from the show’s sponsors.

Submit an entry for the UX Awards

We’d love to see you there!