Zurb is one of 65 companies chosen by VentureBeat to launch at the DEMO Spring 2010 event taking place this week. These companies do pay a fee to present, but our coverage of them remains objective.
Zurb, a long-standing design and consulting firm that has worked on interfaces for Facebook, Yahoo, eBay and more, is at the DEMO conference today launching a new application called Verify, allowing its clients to quickly gather feedback on their designs and overall user experience.
The Verify platform offers six different tests that companies can administer to their users. All of them are based on screenshots, and require very little effort. For example, the click test poses a question to a respondent, and asks them to click on the relevant part of the interface to make sure they understand it as well as they could. Another test has users very quickly choose between two different mock-ups of the same page by clicking on the one they like best. One flashes a screenshot for five seconds and then asks test-takers what they remember, and another has them choose between faces that represent their emotions toward the screenshots shown.
All of this data is meant to characterize and improve people’s interactions with interface designs. Verify records all of these results and reports them in a clear, and easily-digestible format. It also connects responses to demographic information, like age, gender, and industry. That way, clients can easily view how their targeted audiences reacted to various designs. The click test, asking people to click in response to a question, even manifests its results as a heat map.
Verify users can recruit test takers in various ways. Whenever they create a test, a unique URL is generated that takes people directly to the survey. This URL can be distributed over email, on Twitter, Facebook, or on the company in question’s web site. The flexibility of a simple web address allows a client to put the test in front of the people whose opinions matter most, says ZURB marketing lead Dmitry Dragilev.
“What we learned from our consulting business, and helping people get started, is that there’s not a ton of tools out there to help people make better design decisions,” he said. “Our business model is to give them the tools to do it on their own.”
Verify is the second app offered by Zurb. The first, Notable, made it easier for people to give feedback about web designs, content and applications. For example, members of a project team could point out problem areas on an interface, and annotate them with comments. The Notable app aggregates all of these suggestions in a way that makes it easier for managers to decide what to do next. This is a more bottom-up approach to interface improvement than Verify, which is more top-down.
Notable is also available for the iPhone and is sold in various packages. The personal version of the app is free, while basic enterprise costs $24 a month for five licenses, plus costs $44 month for 10 licenses and more storage, working its way up to max membership, which is $119 a month for 50 licenses and 50 gigabytes of storage. Verify will probably be marketed in a similar fashion.
Based in Campbell, Calif., Zurb has been around for more than 12 years. Here’s a glimpse at the Verify report page: