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Archive for August, 2011


We Want Your Feedback: Monthly Pricing

Posted by Jacob Creech on August 30th, 2011

Since launching, IntuitionHQ has been priced on a per-test basis. Anyone can sign up for an account for free and pay $9 when they publish a test.

After a lot of thinking and conversations with users, we’re now looking at moving to a monthly price plan. These are the main factors we’ve been considering:

  • requests from IntuitionHQ users who say they’d prefer regular billing over lots of one-off charges
  • comments from a number of potential users, who say they won’t use IntuitionHQ until it has a monthly or yearly plan
  • a monthly price plan makes it easier for people to compare IntuitionHQ to other usability testing products
  • monthly pricing is ideal for people running lots of tests
  • monthly pricing will make the income we derive from IntuitionHQ more predictable, and make it easier for us to plan for future development.

We’re now ready to share our proposed price plan with you. We’d really love to hear what you think: after all, we wouldn’t be where we are now without our users.

Monthly Pricing on IntuitionHQ

Monthly Pricing on IntuitionHQ

Got that? Let’s dive into the details

Participants – Using the Small plan as an example, 100 participants means you can get up to 100 results per question. With the Medium plan you get up to 350 results. The Large plan will take all the participants you can throw at it. We think this is a great deal, and we hope you will too.

Unlimited Questions – We’ve seen some web services that limit you to one question per test, which we think is pretty tricky. While we definitely recommend you think hard about how many questions you put in each test (we generally see a drop off for online testing after 10-15 questions; if you’re doing the test in person you can safely include more) we want to leave this up to you to decide. If you’ve got a lot of questions you’d like to ask, you can run wild.

Live Tests – Again, looking at the Small plan, two live tests means you can have two open, running tests at any time. If you ran each test for a week and then archived it (archived tests and their results remain available for as long as you have an IntuitionHQ account), that’s 8 tests a month. This will give you heaps of flexibility to run fast, iterative tests (which we totally think you should be doing). Looking at the Large plan, you can have 10 tests open at any one time, which we think is will satisfy even the heaviest IntuitionHQ user.

iPad Test Ready – Did you know we’ve got an iPad app for testing on the go (called Usability)? We think this is pretty great, and it takes guerrilla usability testing to a whole new level. Every plan will work automatically with the iPad app: all you need to do is download the Usability app from the iTunes App Store, sync up your tests, and hit the streets.

You’ll notice the Large plan comes with a free copy of our iPad app, just to sweeten the deal.

A free test option – Last but not least, we’re also planning to introduce a free plan. We think this will be a great beginner option for people who want to test out IntuitionHQ, or who are dipping their toes into online usability testing. We want the web to be a more usable place for everyone, and we hope that in our own small way giving free access to IntuitionHQ will contribute to that.

What do you think?

So, that’s what we are thinking. We’d really love your feedback on the future of IntuitionHQ.

How do you feel about monthly pricing? Be sure to let us know in the comments below, on Twitter @IntuitionHQ or at Facebook.com/IntuitionHQ.

Thanks again for your feedback, and for your continued support.

The team at IntuitionHQ.

 

Good news, everybody

Posted by Jacob Creech on August 23rd, 2011

As you all (hopefully) know, we’ve been working hard on making IntuitionHQ the best usability tool around, and we’re really happy with the progress we’re making.

It’s pretty amazing what you can accomplish as small company at the bottom of the world – we’ve had signups from companies and organisations all around the world, ranging from large universities, libraries and multinationals to freelancers and small businesses, and we are incredibly proud of how we have helped all of these people improve the usability of their sites and services.

We’ve written some very popular blog posts, both here on our own blog, and on a range of sites around the web.

We’ve been talked about by sites like Smashing Magazine, Web Designer Depot and UXBooth, and we are grateful to everyone who has helped us along the way.

There are times though when being far away from our largest market (the US) can make things a little difficult, and sometimes you just have to be where the action is. So you can imagine how our interest was piqued when we spotted a fantastic opportunity being offered by Rich Chetwynd and Nicole Fougere of Litmos.com called Booster Seat 2011.

As New Zealand business founders, Rich and Nicole appreciated the unique challenges that face businesses down under. After achieving great success with their own brainchild Litmos.com they wanted to give back to the New Zealand community in a really creative way – a NZ$10,000 prize to send two people from a New Zealand business to spend a month in San Francisco’s vibrant tech and start-up scene.

We duly submitted our entry, and yesterday we had a phone call from Rich to tell us the good news – out of almost 60 strong applications from a range of businesses around New Zealand, they decided that IntuitionHQ would be the lucky recipients of that fantastic prize.

Booster Seat 2011 Announcement

Booster Seat 2011 Announcement

Long story short, two of us here from IntuitionHQ are going to be heading to San Francisco for a month, and we are both incredibly excited about the opportunities that await us, and extraordinarily grateful for the generosity that Nicole, Rich and everyone else involved in the Booster Seat competition has shown. We are honored to have been chosen and are proud to be representing New Zealand small businesses, and showing what even small companies like ours can achieve with some determination and hard work.

We are planning to head over to San Francisco in early November, and we’d love to meet as many people as possible while we’re over there. If you’re going to be in the area, please leave a comment below, on our Facebook page or just send us a message on Twitter @IntuitionHQ.

We look forward to meeting lots of new people in San Francisco (and online too), and to a fantastic future for IntuitionHQ.

Thanks for reading, and thanks again to Rich and Nicole,

Jacob and the rest of the team at IntuitionHQ

 

7 Tips for a More Engaging Website

Posted by Jacob Creech on August 5th, 2011

 
There is a lot of psychology in making a great website, and not many web designers or developers with a huge amount of knowledge about psychology. Luckily there a number of experts in the field that are happy to disseminate their knowledge to help the rest of us better understand our users.

One of these experts is Dr. Susan Weinschenk from Human Factors International who recently put together a great video on Persuasion, Emotion and Trust in User Experience, and 7 Tips for a More Engaging Website. It’s well worth a watch – here’s the video:

Did you catch all that? Quite a lot of useful information there, so we’ve written a bit of a summary for you below, along with some of our own real life examples:

How to make a More Engaging Website

1) If people have too many choices they won’t choose at all

This stands to reason; if you have too many choices, it makes it incredibly difficult to make up your mind which one is best for you, and with so many different options you may feel like you are giving something up by using one instead of another. With so many options the choice isn’t clear.

I’ve recently been suffering from this issue myself – I’ve been looking for a new camera bag, but looking on a site like Amazon or eBay presents thousands of different choices.

Camera Bags on Amazon

270,000+ choices. Yay!

I suppose is one of their strong points, but the results could certainly be better curated – to give you less options with the requirements you are looking for – for example that fits a camera body and two lenses – so the decision isn’t so overwhelming. I’ve actually been putting off my purchase for weeks now because I just can’t make up my mind.

Contrast this with Apple who has a small product line which makes your purchase decision much easier. Want a 15″ laptop? 2 choices. Want a 17″ laptop? One choice. Some people may see this as a weak point, but the truth is when making your decision the choice is very clear and you are far more likely to make a decision.

2) People need Social Validation

Sheep - Social Validation

Social Validation. Photo by Joost IJmuiden

When people are uncertain they’ll look to others to decide what to do. I’m sure you’ve all had this experience before, and I see examples almost every day – especially when people aren’t sure what to do, where to line up, who to ask or other similar situations.

The same is true in the online world; people are always looking to see what others have to say about a site, service or product. If you can provide some sort of social validation around your site, then you will build trust and give people some social validation. All this leads to higher conversions, and a better experience for you and your users.

3) Scarcity makes people want to buy

Scarcity

There are lots of different deal websites that use this concept. We have a very popular one here in New Zealand called Grabaseat the features daily flight and accommodation deals from all around the country.

The idea is (and apparently it’s been proven by psychologists) that when there is less of something available it seems to be more valuable. If you run a special for one day only, or have only a limited amount of something available people will feel more inclined to buy.

Of course, depending on the goals of your site you could do this in other ways as well. I’ve seen many webinars limiting the amount of ‘seats’ available to drive up demand, email newsletters available for one day only and lots of other ways to create scarcity. See what works for you.

4) Use food, sex or danger to attract peoples’ interest

Interested?

Interested? Photo by VeganFest

This one is obviously pretty dependent on your audience, but the idea is that using these kind of images can draw people to your site and (temporarily at least) capture your attention.

One online marketing campaign that did very well using these principles was Old Spice. Their series of videos captured a huge audience – and along with the way they made the campaign interactive, it was a huge boon for the brand.

5) Use the power of faces

The power of faces

The power of faces. Photo by tommerton2010.

Unsurprisingly perhaps, humans tend to react to human faces. By having faces on your site, people tend to spend more time looking at and understanding your site, and apparently the faces in particular.

I find this point quite interesting, especially when they say you should get ‘the faces’ to look directly at the camera. In this post over at Usable World they talk about the results of their eye tracking experiments that showed users look where the faces are looking – so I thought that getting the faces to look at your calls to action would be a great idea.

Either way you might find using faces on your site will create more engagement.

6) People process information better as stories

People process information better as stories

People process information better as stories. Photo by 50 Watts

They kind of gloss over this in the video, but I think it’s a very interesting point. I know when I’m reading blog posts the ones that pull me in are the ones that have a good, personal hook, that tell a story.

Of course, applying that to your website could be pretty difficult, but telling even a little about the story of your site could be a good start.

7) Build commitment over time

Commitment

Commitment

As they say in the video, you can start with a small amount of commitment with your users (like asking them to subscribe to your RSS feed, Twitter feed or Facebook page) and build from there.

By taking your time and not rushing people they will slowly but surely feel more loyalty to your site, service or product.

I’m sure you all have your own experiences of a whole range of services building up a loyal following in this way. It’s tried and tested, and a great way to build more engagement.

Conclusion

Hopefully this have given you some good ideas on how to make your own site or service more engaging.

Obviously some of these points would be harder to implement on some sites than others, but there is sure to be a point or two that will work for you.

If you’ve got your own tips for how to make a more engaging site, we’d love to hear them as well. What has your experience taught you? Do you have any good examples of sites that are doing a great job at engagement?

While you’re here, we’d also be much obliged if you did subscribe to our RSS feed, and if you enjoyed the post, we’d love it if you Tweeted it as well (see what we did there?).

Thanks very much for dropping by!