Looking to Improve the User Experience from their POV

March 30, 2010

If you follow any of the OpenView Venture Partner blogs, you will see that we all believe most early and expansion stage software companies do not spend enough time understanding the users’ point of view (POV) when it comes to the users’ experience with their products and services.

I recently wrote a blog using a Dilbert cartoon to illustrate this point, Scott Maxwell last week wrote a blog on improving usability and Firas Raouf wrote a blog this Sunday about using a tool from a portfolio company we invested growth capital in called Zmags to convert 1.0 look and feel PDF’s to 3.0 look and feel user content.

In the interest of sharing our thoughts on this topic with CEO’s, founders and management teams I thought I would also share the name of a company that you might find if you are interested in improving your user experience around your website. The company is called UserTesting.com and they have a cool service that might help you.

How It Works

  1. You sign up for usability testing, specifying:
    • The demographic profile of your target audience
    • How many users you want
    • What tasks you want them to perform on your site
  2. We notify users. Within seconds, representative users start recording their screen and voice as they use your website, speaking their thoughts as they browse. Who are the users?
  3. You watch and listen to them use your site. Each user’s session – mouse movements, clicks, keystrokes, and spoken comments – is saved as a Flash video for you to watch.
  4. You read their summary.
    • What they liked.
    • What they didn’t like.
    • What would have caused them to leave your site.

I have a an expansion stage portfolio company whose Product manager, Development manager and development team are using it and they speak highly of it. So if you are serious about improving your user experience from their POV check it out!

All the best!


Venture Partner

<strong>George Roberts</strong> is a Venture Partner at OpenView. He enjoys partnering with companies and helping them achieve their goals through strategy, focus and operational execution. From 1990 to 2003, George spent 13 years at Oracle Corporation, most recently having served as Executive Vice President of North American Sales. While at Oracle, George was responsible for over $1 billion in revenue and more than 2,000 employees, reporting directly to the company’s CEO and Chairman, Larry Ellison.