Tools Not Included

While working on my presentation for Mobile Camp Chicago 2013, I’ve talked to fellow user experience pros about mobile user research. After multiple stories that involved everyone doing their best MacGyver impression to capture usability feedback, I got fed up. Why aren’t usability testing tools part of operating systems? Think about it. We know that the best solutions are created when the people who create them watch real people trying to use what they are building. OS creators have a vested interest in providing the best platform that delivers the best experience. So give the people who build the things people use on your machines the tools to do this easily.

Microsoft, Apple, Google, everybody listen up. Here’s my feature request: An integrated, standardized tool to screencast, with audio while recording.While you’re at it, please capture clicks and gestures. Throw in the ability to capture the user’s face with the camera at the same time. And make it a part of the operating system. For every device.

The world of UX will write you love letters and you will have the best, most usable software for your customers. It seems so obvious. Let’s do this.