Video feedback is a favorite tool used for usability testing. The goal is to reveal all the usability problems that test participants may come across. Video feedback has become a powerful tool due to one critical fact; how it can engage the usability and user experience teams – in a way that was not possible before. Users can now observe scenarios and visualize the situation for a more accurate type of feedback. Things captured on video can be explained much better and more clearly than written instructions. While some readers may take written instructions one way, or interpret them differently, there is very little chance of this occurring with video. Video is clear and explicit. Yet, given all of the benefits of using video feedback, there are some pitfalls that need to be acknowledged and addressed. 1. It is a One-sided Tool One of the main issues with video feedback is that it doesn’t provide evaluations from the user’s side. While video may be able to provide researchers with a general idea of what users are doing and how they are reacting, they have very little input in regards to minute -yet crucial- actions. This one-sidedness also means that users can’t be as expressive as they may want to be. It creates restrictions on what they are testing for and also in how they react to situations. With too much control over the feedback, the real-world application of the program may be lost. 2. There is No Text Some people are better at reading than they are at interpreting a video. Others like to take their time with use cases and think about various tangents, even before beginning the testing. With video, everyone must watch at the same time and at the same rate of speed. Not having text in a video also means that there is no opportunity to go back and look at the log of actions for clarification. 3. People Prefer Short Videos People have very short attention spans. If videos are too long, they can actually become detrimental to the effectiveness of the session. Most researchers do not have the resources to sit for extended periods of time, sifting through hours of video. They will lose interest or become hesitant if the video runs for more than one to two minutes. All videos need to be short and to the point in order to be the most useful. However, it can be very hard to fit the necessary amount of information in a video that short. 4. Time Needed to Create Cases is Demanding Think about the time that it takes to write down notes and observations for a group of people. Then, think about how long it would take to film the same scenario. Now, go through the same process over and over again. What a nightmare! While writing is quick and easy, filming can quickly become a hassle for everyone involved. It takes a lot of time to film a video and get everything right. You need the right equipment and staff to film the video. Sound has to be clear; Distracting background noise must be eliminated. You need staff; even if it took only a few hours to film the video, there aren’t very many people who have the time to break away from work to participate in production, at least not on a consistent basis. 5. Rendering Takes Time Even after filming a video, a lot of time is required to edit and render the video. If the video is being placed on a media format, it may be too large to be stored properly. The correct video player must be installed or the device won’t be able to read the right format (which can cause even more headaches). The amount of research that can go into something like this may outweigh the length of time it took to shoot the video itself. So, given the many potential problems of video feedback, what is the solution? Programs like UserVod and ClickTale have recently come to the forefront, offering some solutions. UserVod records sessions of mobile apps and provides action checklists while ClickTale records actions through heat-maps, tracking mouse movement and clicks. What if the user is stuck? Is there any solution for this simple, yet detrimental problem? Here’s where WalkMe comes in. WalkMe is the next evolution for user guidance. This unique program gives site owners a way to see where users get stuck. It then offers advice on how to fix the problem. Once clicked, WalkMe can actually guide users all the way through – from problem, to solution. Anyone who uses WalkMe, for their website has the ability to create tip balloons – little balloons that users can click and follow. The balloons walk them through the process without anyone actually being there. It’s an interactive help box that almost feels like a live-person is on the other side of the screen. By pairing WalkMe with services like ClickTale, users can see where people get stuck and create the tips necessary to help them solve these problems – on their own. Keeping Costs Low Using software like WalkMe is not only time-saving, but cost-effective as well. You are able to get a clear picture as to why people are getting stuck and how to solve the problem for the next round. Each time that you encounter a new usability problem, you can add new steps without wasting time or money. Take advantage of what WalkMe has to offer and help promote your product in the process. Guide them through the steps and increase your conversion, boost user experience, and get the most out of your product.