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Issue 22

Lumy.ro - usability testing

Daniela Ferenczi
UX designer, inițiator Lumy
@REEA
OTHERS

Lumy.ro is the first usability testing platform in Romania, launched by the REEA company - www.reea.net. It is for the first time in our country that the companies, but also the self-employed persons, have the possibility to find out the opinion of the users they are targeting through their web and mobile products. Following the tests, the platform will provide accurate information about the website or the Facebook application the developers have produced, even before launching it on the market.

The Lumy.ro platform provides usability testing services upon request. Thus, utility tests are used in order to check the navigability of the website, the content relevance, the design efficiency and the easiness for the clients/ users to carry out certain critical processes within the website and/ or application. Within the platform, there are two types of testers: beginner tester and advanced tester. The only difference between these two types of accounts is the accessibility to different types of tests. Depending on their difficulty, for each test carried out, the user will receive a certain amount of lumy points in his account. There are five types of utility tests: heatmap, clickmap, preferences, feedback and video feedback. The prices are accessible and they are adjusted according to the available budget. For the amount of 50 lei, a company will get 17 video tests, of which a real feedback will emerge. The number of testers registered on the platform has reached almost 520 and it is continuously growing.

Daniela Ferenczi, UX specialist within the REEA company, is the initiator of Lumy. The work on everything that Lumy means started in the month of June 2013, in Targu-Mures.

The name comes from the Romanian word for "light" (lumina). The idea of this name came from the fact that, when you carry out a project, you are creating it in your own office, relying on your own knowledge and on the know-how of the team you are working with. On completing the project, your work and creativity concerning the usability are launched in the dark, without usability testing. Practically, you do not know whether your users have received a product or service that can be easily used, whether it makes sense to them or not, or if it offers them an experience, not a mere utilization. Lumy has the role of "illuminating" you in regard to the work of a UX Designer, of an Information Architect and even of a web designer, through the usability testing services it provides.

Implementation

The first step was, obviously, the project analysis, what we wished to obtain in the initial phase and where we wanted to get. There were many hours of brainstorming by all the teams involved, the completion of a wireframe which was the starting point. Then, we went on to implement the platform with its two versions, the one dedicated to testers and the other one for the companies, in several steps:

  • the testers" version and the realization of video tests and feedback by the testers through the Lumy Recorder application;
  • the companies" version;
  • the integration of preferences type tests, clickmap, heatmap;
  • test orders for the part dedicated to the companies;
  • the capitalization of the testers" gains;
  • the English version of the platform;
  • upgrade on the foreign companies part;
  • API implementation for the iOS application.

These steps were implemented by the .NET team. Simultaneously, the iOS team implemented the Lumy application for iPhone and Lumy Recorder for iPhone. At the same time, the website was adapted for mobile phones and tablets. Among the employed technologies, we could mention: Axure, MVC4, C#, MS SQL Server, Microsoft TFS, Node.js, HTML5, CSS3, Adobe Photoshop, Responsive Web Design, MailChimp, NearForums, Scrum Project Management. On the iOS part, the following programming languages were used: Objective C and C++ and they also used iOS SDK and OpenGL.

What is Lumy Recorder?

Lumy Recorder is a desktop stand-alone application, which deals with recording some testing sessions, testings where the user"s answer is recorded in text format, his voice and the actions happened on his screen. The recorded data is instanteneously sent towards a server, which stores them in a centralised data base. The technologies used are the following:

  • for screen capture: screen capture filter, together with Ffmpeg
  • for audio capture: mapped Ffmpeg was used with Windows Core Audio for microphone detection and selection. The communication between the browser and the application is done through a local http server.

The communication with the server is done through TCP. On the server part for storing the data stream, we used NodeJs, which actuates ffmpeg instances.

The most difficult tasks were finding an efficient manner to capture the screen and the best possible compression of the audio and video data flow. Another challenging situation was mapping the microphone represented in the ffmpeg manner, with the ones already existing in the system.

Lumy Recorder for iOS

Through this application, the testers registered on the platform will be able to carry out feedback and video type tests, and the companies will get a real reaction for the mobile versions of their produced websites. The Lumy Recorder application for iPhone was achieved using the programming languages: Objective C and C++ and using iOS SDK and OpenGL. A team made of three developers worked over 600 hours to be able to publish it in Apple Store. The most complicated part of developing the application was the video capture. The native SDK does not allow video capture from the browser, so the developers had to find another way, using OpenGL.

If you access this link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CeqXjD99z1o&feature=youtu.be, you will be able to see an example of a video test, done on a 5S iPhone.

The usability testing platform - Lumy - was completely developed, from concept to implementation, by REEA.

Sponsors

  • comply advantage
  • ntt data
  • 3PillarGlobal
  • Betfair
  • Telenav
  • Accenture
  • Siemens
  • Bosch
  • FlowTraders
  • MHP
  • Connatix
  • MetroSystems
  • BoatyardX
  • Colors in projects