Usability Testing - Screen Recorder for the Mac / by Cory

picture-6.pngI am about to embark on a pretty exciting usability study on some software we've been working on at Blue Lava Technologies. Since I will mostly be conducting usability testing on my own (everything from recruiting people to moderation and reports), I need a way to capture the user sessions on the computer so I can focus on moderating instead of being distracted by taking notes. Its also good to capture the sessions so that the team can review them when they have a chance (though in my experience nobody ever does). My requirements for this software are pretty basic:

  • Must not impact performance at all...should run completely transparent in the background
  • Record the entire screen at a real-time frame rate so that mouse movements are clear
  • Record the audio from my laptop mic (or external mic if needed)
  • output a video file that can be reviewed later

I've done testing in the past that captures a video of the person's face along with the screen so you can see physical reactions, but this has never really added that much value. Just observing the mouse movements alone can give you great insight to what the user is thinking. Since I'll be testing a mac application, this limits the options available for me to use quite a bit...but the funny thing is, I found IShowU, a $25 piece of software, to be the best solution.

I have tested it for hours at a time with no problems...and it is very configurable to suit a lot of different needs.

I love products that do 1 thing great...and this is one of em.