A couple of weeks ago, I had the great opportunity to attend a fabulous event at Citi Innovation Lab in Tel Aviv – The Citi Intel Mbile UX Conference. Thanks to Raphael Menachem, Head of UX at Citi, for personally inviting me to attend, I had the opportunity to meet some of the leading guys who are doing mobile UX right. One particular team that stood out to me was UserVOD. I reached out to Zahi Boussiba, Co-founder of UserVOD, to share his insights in the field. Check out his interview below to learn about usability testing tools, the mobile market, and UserVOD.
When we first started the company (my co-founder Yoni Douek and myself) we were doing something very different. We developed our own app called ShopTalk (a social commerce app). We had a lot of analytics services integrated to it, but it was almost impossible for us to understand the numbers we were seeing, our conversion was very low and we didn’t know why. We discovered that the best way to learn on our users’ behavior and customer experience behavior is to stand next to them and watch them use the app. So, we started developing some recording capabilities in our own app and discovered a lot of things that were wrong in the app. After discussing the idea with some of our colleagues we found out that we weren’t the only ones experiencing these problems, and that’s how UserVOD was born.
Do you think that heatmaps are the best and most accurate tools for usability testing?
I think that heatmaps are only one tool that you can help app publishers perform usability testing. Heatmaps allow you to visualize the behavior of multiple users is a single clear view. Session recordings are obviously another very strong tool for usability testing because it allows you to really understand what users are doing in the app and how they experience it. UserVOD provides both of them, allowing publishers to also watch single session recordings and also get aggregated data in the form of heatmaps and behavioral reports.
What was your strategy in focusing only on iOS and not adding Android?
Although Android’s distribution is wider, iOS is still the leading platform in terms of in-app monetization and purchases. In the last Black Friday, for example, purchases made via iOS devices were four times higher than purchases made via an Android device.
However, Android support is, of course, on our roadmap and we’ll have exciting news regarding Android support later this year.
Based on your experience with viewing insights of applications and what needs improvement, what do you think is the best way to introduce new features to users?
Pushing changes to a mobile app is usually slower than to a website because of the Apple’s approval process. On average, it takes 7-10 days for an update to be approved in the AppStore. This forces companies to do a lot of testing before releasing new features.
First of all I think all companies should perform do usability and user testing before releasing new features and that’s where services like UserVOD play a great role.
Using A/B testing to release new features to a small group of users is also a great solution, and there are a few interesting companies that enables app publishers to push changes without going through the app store.
How often do you think a company should “renovate” their mobile website or application?
I think that today, users expect to have a new version of a mobile app every month or two. When they open an updated version of the app the first thing they want to see is what was changed in the user interface. They also want to see that the old problems are gone. If they still exist, this reflects badly on the company and brand. That’s actually what’s great about UserVOD because it can show you and pinpoint insights regarding what’s wrong in the UX of your app and enables you to fix the problems very quickly.
Where do you think mobile is headed?
I think there’s no doubt that we will see companies keep building both mobile optimized websites and apps that offer superior user experience. Apps are here to stay and having great user experience is one of the most important reasons for a success or a failure of a mobile app.
Zahi Boussiba is Co-founder and CEO of UserVOD. He served as a Major of a technological intelligence unit in the Israel Defense Forces, alongside the Co-founder and CEO of WalkMe, Dan Adika. Zahi has more than 15 years of experience in the software industry, seven of them managing large software projects and teams. He hold a B.Sc in computer science from Ben Gurion University and an MBA from Tel Aviv University.