Ever wish you could get real feedback on your website so you can get back to work? UserBob promises access to average Americans there to test your app with impressive turnaround time.
The web-based solution is a little different than your average conversion rate optimization software. It’s a platform that allows you to get individual feedback with video and voice.
Instead, UserBob is a fast, affordable way to learn if the big pieces of your app or website fit together as planned. Is your solution confusing? Do people understand how to move through the platform and make purchases?
Ultimately, this isn’t a piece of conversion rate optimization software in a traditional sense, but it should help you boost conversions to some extent. You just won’t get the lead generation pages, reporting, and targeting you’ll find elsewhere.
We’ll warn you, the tool isn’t an all-in-one marketing solution. It’s more of a supplement to your existing marketing tools.
What is UserBob?
UserBob is a user testing service, much like UserTesting, that website owners can use to gauge their UX and receive feedback from real people.
When you sign up for the service, it’s your job to provide a task for users to complete. The program will record them as they make their way through the task. As a point of reference, tasks typically include something like going through the process of adding an item to their shopping cart and checking out. Or, it could be filling out a sign-up form.
Users record their voice and make comments as they look through your site, so you’ll hear real feedback as opposed to answers selected from a multiple choice survey. Site owners can watch videos, as well—getting both visual and audio feedback they can incorporate in short order.
Fast Set Up
Getting started with UserBob is super easy. You don’t need to commit to a monthly subscription, you buy tests, as needed. We see this as a good, quick way to get some first impression info—and take it back to the drawing board.
Once you set up a test, you’ll choose how many users you want, and it’s instantly available. According to the website, you’ll have videos to review within a few hours of publishing.
Watch Real Users
According to the UserBob website, average users from the US will record their screens and share first impressions of your site or app. You can watch the videos to see what they see, listening to audio recordings as they discuss specific elements.
Most real user tests use people that reportedly are part of your target market—but there’s no real way to make that clear when you set up an experiment.
It’s a mixed bag—so far using “average” Americans—with minimal demographic customization could be a good way to gauge some basic information about your site. For example, if your website or app is very new—you probably want to start by making sure your vision make sense to people, in general.
As a point of reference, here’s an example of what the testing process looks like to the reviewer:
Aims to Decrease Bounces
The first impression videos serve as a way to prevent bounces away from your site. Most users decide to move on to another site within a minute or so.
As such, UserBob’s short tests provide some insights into the intangible things that rub users the wrong way. By using minute-long tests, you’ll quickly learn how to
Another way to use this site is to understand why people aren’t buying or downloading. In some cases, you could be getting a ton of traffic and great feedback, but no numbers to back it all up.
Such a scenario may have to do with CTA placement or misdirected advertising. Use UserBob to ask testers to complete tasks that will expose usability problems. These videos are about five minutes long and provide some illuminating insights into what’s gone wrong.
It could be a matter of confusing buttons, too many form fields, or something else. The point is, finding out what’s frustrated your users will boost conversions.
The Platform Connects You to Qualified Reviewers
While you can coordinate your own focus groups or enlist the services of friends and family, UserBob speeds up the process by bringing impartial testers to your desktop.
Reviewers are filtered by the service Mechanical Turk, an Amazon-owned testing platform. Only those with 99% ratings are allowed to become testers with UserBob, adding a layer of quality control into the platform.
Get Audio Recordings
Instead of multiple choice surveys or written responses taken out of context, UserBob has commenters record their reactions as they move through your website.
Different Testing Options
There are two main choices for user testing. The first is the first impressions, which record users for one minute as they share their thoughts upon arrival. The second option is the task completion process. Here, users are given a task–you’ll set this up ahead of time–and they have five minutes to complete it. Again, you’ll get the audio and video recording for deeper insights.
Finally, if these options don’t do it for you, you can customize tests–change the number of users, length of the review, and give more complicated instructions.
Another example of a test in action below. Here, you’ll see that the user is testing a mobile app via web browser, which may take some of the “realness” out of the process.
In addition to the audio, you’ll see what your testers see. The platform records the user navigation process, so you’ll see any areas where they may have gotten stuck. Additionally, audio and video together paint the full picture, so nothing gets lost in translation.
UserBob provides an API to site developers that can be integrated with other software products. The service can also be “white-labeled” and be used by anyone who would like to add a user testing element to their marketing services or CRO platform.
Pricing is based on a selection of packages. Videos start at $1 each, but you’ll need to purchase them as a set. You have three options— First Impressions, Task Completion, or Custom. All packages are sold in separate versions—based on device—Web, Mobile Web, Android, or iOS.
This option gives testers one minute to discuss their first impressions of the site. Their job is to determine who the target audience is, what they think about the appearance, and what you can do to make it better. The web tests include 20 user videos for $20, while the mobile tests include 9, two-minute user videos for $18 each.
Task completion tests cover exactly what you’d expect. Users are asked to complete a specific task. The web test includes five user videos, five minutes each for $25. Mobile tests include five, five-minute videos, as well, but the price increases to $35.
This plan allows you to get more specific. You’ll need to contact UserBob to set up a test and determine pricing, but this option allows you to set custom demographics—and recruit up to 20 participants. Videos can range between one and 25 minutes.
If you click “start” you can start setting up a test. This is interesting as you can get a look into the custom demographics they mentioned. These demographics are limited to a few designations—married or single, male or female, over or under 30.
These give us some information but tell us very little about customer groups. There’s no ability to drill down by things like interests, income, location, more specific age groups, and so on.
UserBob is a web-based service. You can use the platform to test websites, mobile websites, and mobile apps. Because the tests record audio and video—you’ll need to make sure your system is capable of playing the content.
Who is this For?
Because UserBob is so affordable, it’s suitable for early-stage startups and small businesses who can’t afford to undergo more advanced UX testing. It’s a nice way to get some feedback from outside voices—especially when you’ve had your head in the sand building something for so long.
The benefit is, you can hear, firsthand, how a new user interacts with your website upon arrival. You can also gauge whether your site is easy to use—are there any confusing elements you didn’t spot?
That said, UserBob is missing really detailed demographic information, the tests are limited, too. So, this is good for the first round of testing—it’s more do things work, versus how can we really tailor our message, so it resonates with the target audience.
UserBob is one of the more barebones sites we’ve seen. The platform offers only the details you need—making it easy to set up a test. That said, the simplicity seems to be to its detriment. For example, we mentioned the demographics and the lack of options. And, this is for the custom test.
When we looked at the completing product, UserTesting, we found that the platform offered a ton when it came to providing customers with the ability to choose their testers based on really sophisticated profiles. UserBob, by contrast, sends whomever to come and test out your website.
There’s just no comparison. That said, the speed at which you can get some feedback on your site is pretty fantastic—and there’s a money-back guarantee.
So, what do they provide regarding support? Well, there’s a tiny support button on the bottom right corner of the site. It’s easy to miss.
Here you’ll find:
The FAQ section does help answer some questions. Apparently, testers come from an Amazon service called Mechanical Turk. They’re reviewers from the US and Canada who have received a 99% approval rating through Mechanical Turk.
You’re allowed to test your own website or app, as well as your competitors. Tasks are limited to what a user might do on the site. So, you can’t set up tests aimed at getting users to click on links, ads, or malware.
UserBob appears to be a small operation. You can email email@example.com or give him a call. There’s not much information on whether or not customers have received great service. Still, we haven’t seen many complaints about the service overall.
So, Would We Recommend UserBob?
There are indeed scenarios in which UserBob is a valuable resource. It’s a lifeline for businesses with a minimal budget who want to understand if their website makes sense to their consumers.
Unfortunately, the tool has a long way to go before it can even qualify as a conversion rate booster. Sure, it stands to help you uncover glaring problems, but it’s not going to help you connect with your target market.
Once you eliminate issues highlighted in your test—you’ll probably need to look for a different tool to learn more about your product’s performance.