I recently interviewed TechSmith’s product manager, Shane Lovellette, at the 2010 NAB Show in Las Vegas. Shane talked with me about the ways that their video recording software is capturing and measuring the user experience with online video, allowing professionals to do a much better job at giving their target audiences what they want.

TechSmith is known in the online marketing and usability industry for their screen recording and capture tools (Camtasia, Jing Project, Snagit) But, did you know that they also have usability and market research software where you to capture someone’s experience as they’re interacting with an application, a website, or even watching a video?  It is called Morae and with the software, you can see how users react to a video, understand what they like or don’t like about it, and be able to share that information with your team and be able to communicate that easily to others.

Their Usability Software Works 2 Ways with Video:

  1. They have a video interface right in the program, so you’re able to capture when people are being video recorded and sync it with whatever they are viewing – be it a computer screen or something else – and observe what their reactions are to a video they’re watching online.
  2. You can create a video from the entire user experience – either individually or as a compilation. You are then better able share the content of your video, and have you and your team better able to understand someone else’s experience for who you’re developing your video or video application for, which will help you understand your target audience and market.

User Testing with Video = Better Video Marketing

The software is a part of controlled user testing, which can either be done on-site or remotely with your observers. (The former in a studio or room setup with camcorders or webcams, and the latter via IP with webcams on people’s computers and the software installed on their computers as well.) Typically when it comes to video analysis, the tests are done by watching how your subjects search and browse for the video, and the different ways they interact with it – whether it be on the computer screen, through verbal comments and body language, and time spent.

Basically it comes down to this: When you have more information from how people are reacting to the video, you are in a better position to make improvements to that video. As a usability specialist myself (meaning, I’ve done a good deal of user-testing and what the usability industry calls “heuristic reviews” for company websites and videos, and have attended conferences for years hosted by the big-name usability organizations), its important to have any testing of video also be conducted in the online spaces where that video will ultimately reside.

A special thanks from me to Josanna Sutka, the trade show manager for TechSmith, who introduced me to her mic splitter device, which allows for the clear audio you hear from both my interview guest and myself, while doing a good job of blocking out most of the exhibit floor noise. (Believe me, good audio can be more crucial in user testing than good video, too!)

Lastly, thank you to Kaltura for sponsoring my trip to the NAB Show.