by Stephanie Watson
Published on 7 December 2012
In a survey about user experience, conducted by Compuware, results show that a bad web experience will drive 46 percent of tablet users to competitive web sites and 33 percent are less likely to purchase from that company. That means for businesses that run a website that the work of a usability expert can be critical for the success of the enterprise. When a user experience professional is testing a new software product or a new website, handy apps for usability experts can make the job go faster, let him dig deeper and remember the details. Here's a quick overview of a few that may help you.
Moqups is a terrific free app for designing prototypes, wireframes, user interfaces and, well, mock-ups. Using easy drag and drop, the interface looks like graphing paper. It has more than sixty scalable vector graphic stencils, smart-guides, auto-save and the ability to upload images. You can export as a PDF, PNG or simply email it.
Pivotal Tracker uses an agile environment for software development. It's dynamic, everyone on the team can view the bigger picture to get a look at how the project is going in real time. Team members provide their stories for the backlog and Tracker predicts the completion date and the milestones leading up to it. It simplifies prioritizing tasks and gives you realistic time estimates.
Using boards and cards, Trellolets you and your collaborators see where you are on a project. It's a simple and powerful visual system for a list of tasks, a project, or a process. Just a glance at the board or the card lets you know how the project is coming along and who is working on what.
Basecamp keeps you organized simply and intuitively. You don't need to know any special web skills. It handles email, calendar entries, comments, all your tasks and scheduling. Invite who you want. Everyone can see what needs to be done and when. The dashboard makes it easy to monitor each part of the process so nothing gets missed.
Olark is a live chat application that lets you interact with visitors to your website using instant messengers from third parties. Installation is easy enough for non-techies. It blends in naturally with the site.
Evernote's tagline is "Capture anything, access anywhere, find things fast." Well, it's true! Making notes is a breeze. Take a screen-shot with one-click, it's easy to sync with other devices. Each project can have its own notebook. Saving is automatic and tags make it simple to find notes.
With Skype , you can have chats and video conferencing as well as phone calls. You can even share your desktop with a collaborator on another continent. Any sort of remote sharing is possible with Skype. Members of your group can drop in and out of your chat room. With an easy-to-use interface, it connects co-workers with each other and lets support stay in touch with customers.
A great way to manage the vacation time of your company's employees is with TribeHR online software. It lets members of your group check who is working when, giving them a sense of participation in the decision making. It also automates a lot of the mundane tasks of employee tracking.
Hojoki lets you monitor all of your cloud based apps in one spot. As an example, you can establish a business workplace in Hojoki that handles Dropbox for file sharing, Trello for task lists, Google Calendar for scheduling and Google Drive for documents. Integrate whatever you are using in one easy-to-find spot, a single hub instead of a dashboard for each application. You can also use a cloud based system such as CloudWork that will integrate many programs and apps to make them work even harder for you.
Dropbox is perfect for people in different locations to work with the same set of files. Since it's cloud-based, you can use any type of computer or mobile device. Any file in Dropbox is synchronized. It's easy to use and a snap to install. Google Drive is similar to Dropbox and also simple to install and use. It has the advantage that all your Google Docs files will appear as soon as you sign in. It lets you check recently edited or opened files under the Recent tab. The search feature is very good.
Google Analytics is free and the industry standard for analyzing web traffic. It gives reports on every aspect of your site's visitors. Using it regularly will let you make decisions to make your it more popular.
Kissmetrics (as in Keep It Simple Stupid) is a paid alternative. It lets you analyze visitors on the individual level, which can help figure out how to convert visitors to buyers.
As you can see, there are numerous usability tools out there for the busy expert, some fee-based and many with free versions. The best approach is to try them out and find which one help the most your project, product or website. Check with co-workers often because new tools are coming out all the time. Never forget to check at GetApp for cloud-based apps to use in every aspect of your business. It's simple to do a search on our site, or to send us an email if you're not sure what you need. We're here to help!