Feedback Army review - Usability testing on a budget

  • Posted on: 21 February 2012
  • By: Antti

I tested a usability testing service called Feedback Army and was pleasantly surprised with the feedback I received.

As any website owner would know feedback is vital when it comes to the success of a website. Feedback can be gathered by many means and range from professional usability testing to simply asking your friends. Any kind of usability testing is better than none. However if you are after useful and brutally honest feedback you should steer away from friends and family as they tend to see your creations through rose-coloured glasses. You may also seek free advice through the numerous online discussion boards although the feedback is often skin deep and lacks the depth of a paid service.

Website usability testing services

So what to do? If you are in a hurry or on a budget you can conduct a website usability test in a matter of hours through services like Feedback Army3rd Party Feedback, Easy Usability and User Testing. All the services work in a similar way; submit your website and the questions you want to ask then wait for the answers.

Feedback Army website

Testing the website

I recently launched Web Design Email, a newsletter service for web professionals. As the website is new I wanted to hear how real users, whether in the target group or not, would perceive the service. I also needed to tweak some important aspects of the site, one being the cost.

The questions

Here are the questions I put forward about Web Design Email:

  1. What is your first impression of the site?
  2. Are there any aspects of the site/information/service that confused you? If so, what was it and why?
  3. What do you think of the cost? In addition, how much would you be willing to pay for a service like this?
  4. What would improve this site?

The turnaround with Feedback Army was impressive - within 24 hours I had received the 10 answers I paid for. This includes rejecting a few unworthy submissions. The answers ranged from positive to negative but in both cases I felt like receiving valuable feedback.

The answers

I won't lay down all the answers but here is a example one to give you an idea on what to expect:

  1. My first impression is that this website features a service that I have never heard of before, but one that could prove to be a really useful tool for the right market. I was also immediately impressed with the layout. It's very simple, but it's effective. Everything is laid out in a clean and effective way, and it's all very easy on the eyes.
  2. I was a little confused as to how exactly the service works. When you subscribe, can you only get the newsletter sent to a single email address? Say for example you're a part of a web design team. Does everyone on your team have to subscribe, or can one person subscribe and get the email sent to several members? I think this information could be made more clear on the website.
  3. The cost seems reasonable, but a bit too high. For just a newsletter, I personally wouldn't really be too keen on paying anything over $5.99 per month. If you got more with the newsletter, perhaps some in-depth videos detailing some of the content, or something extra along those lines, I would likely pay $9.99, but as is, that price feels a little too high in my opinion.
  4. A more in-depth FAQ including answers to the question I asked above, as well as anything else people may be curious about. The FAQ seems a bit too brief. Beyond that, some testimonials from satisfied subscribers would be nice, as well as a forum for subscribers to discuss the service, make suggestions, etc.

The only nitpicking I found was that there was no possibility of sorting the answers after each question. Other than that the service worked like a charm.

Conclusion

I received plenty of great feedback about the website I tested and the price tag of $20 was more than reasonable for it. I would not hesitate to use the service again in the future.