youXtools launches a user testing platform with AI-powered visual analytics
The user experience consultancy UEGroup is now making its internal testing platform publicly available through this spinoff startup.
A startup called youXtools is out this week with a new online usability platform that employs AI to visually present problem areas.
A similar platform was employed over two years for such clients as Google and Red Bull within user experience consultancy UEGroup, which spun off youXtools last year and is now making the platform generally available.
Tony Fernandes, CEO of youXtools and founder of UEGroup, noted that the consultancy needed greater speed and automation, but “the tools on the market just didn’t cut it, so we created something better for ourselves.”
Product research teams define the scope of the user research project in the platform, which generates modules for testing. It will then automatically recruit users from YouXtools’s pool, based on desired demographics.
An AI-based virtual observer called Ami (for Autonomous Moderator Interface) creates a visual report showing what needs to be done to improve usability. The scoring includes emotional responses — gleaned from participants’ self-reported answers — and user ratings of assigned tasks.
Fernandes pointed out that the new platform brings together diaries, A/B testing and usability testing. “Nobody integrates these tools into one service,” he told me, “and more tools will be rolling out on a regular basis.”
As with other testing platforms, participants are given tasks to accomplish, such as finding shipping info in a site or app.
Once the remote participant has given permission, the platform tracks time on the task and the pattern of clicks, and screen-records through an installed browser plug-in and video records with the computer’s camera. Since human voices put people at ease, audio recordings of a human moderator guide the participant with such prompts as: “OK, time for the next task.”
A diary tool called youXdiscovery allows testing participants to self-report their responses, and youXconversation is designed to support live, moderated studies in a lab. The platform can conduct tests in seven languages, and it supports iOS/Android mobile devices and desktop computers. Users testing on a mobile device need to connect it to a computer, which mirrors the mobile screen and records the entire event through the browser plugin.
Fernandes points to UserTesting.com as his company’s nearest competitor, but cited youXtools’ pricing, tool integration, talking virtual moderator and automatically generated visual feedback dashboard as differentiators.