Crowdsourcing may have begun with an ox.
In 1906, Sir Francis Galton visited a state fair and witnessed a guessing game popular at the time: what’s the weight of the ox? With 800 guesses, no one person was on the mark, but Galton calculated the mean of every guess made. To his surprise, the crowd’s mean answer was only off by one pound. In other words, they had effectively crowdsourced the answer, long before crowdsourcing was even a word.
For those unfamiliar with his company, TryMyUI is a user interface (UI) usability testing tool. This tool helps companies see their own websites from a user’s view by recording hours upon hours of users actually navigating a website. It’s real-time feedback that offers better data visualization analytics than surveys, which are typically taken hours or days later, when a user has likely forgotten their specific actions.
But the sheer amount of recorded user experience video presents a problem. As Gautam said, “There’s nobody on your payroll who’s going to sit and watch 2,000 minutes of video and extract insights. It’s just too much raw data.”
That’s when Gautam and Tim Rotolo thought about the ox. By harnessing the “wisdom of the crowds,” they could offer better UI insights to their customers. With UXCrowd, instead of guessing the weight of an ox, the crowd guesses the pain points within a user’s experience of a company’s website. They provide crowdsourced answers to three major questions:
What are the three biggest pain points of the UI?
What are the three best things of the UI?
What are three suggestions for improvement in the UI?
By crowdsourcing TryMyUI’s biggest problem — how to comb through so many hours of video — the company discovered an invaluable and effective tool to help their clients continue to refine their designs and user experiences. And it all began by remembering the ox.
To hear more about data visualization and crowdsourced UX feedback, listen to the entire TechnologyAdvice interview.
Clark Buckner is the online events coordinator at TechnologyAdvice, an Inc. 5000 company that is dedicated to educating, advising, and connecting the buyers and sellers of business technology. Clark hosts the TechnologyAdvice Podcast, and also keeps tabs on news and events in the company’s tech conference calendar. Tweet him a hello or connect with him on LinkedIn.