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I am looking into ways to gain more insight for how people use the tools I build. Short of having a physical user group for a/b testing, are there some faster and cheaper solutions out there such as tools to gauge eye tracking or mouse tracking, or whatever else can give effective insight into the user's experience?

Also, is using mechanical-turk-like solutions helpful for UX?

Thanks!

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Are you looking for free(title) or cheaper(question)? You might want to edit your title depending. Free is going to seriously cut down your options and may keep people from even bothering to offer suggestions. –  Su' Apr 21 '11 at 18:26
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You may find additional resources by visiting the UX StackExchange site at ux.stackexchange.com –  Ray Mitchell Apr 22 '11 at 15:18
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3 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted

I've used click heat before: http://www.labsmedia.com/clickheat/index.html It is a self hosted, open source, PHP based heatmap system you can use for free. It works well for click tracking. As far as eye tracking goes, unless you have hardware, you are looking at mouse hover tracking. I think clicktail has it.

You could use the mechanical turk as well, but I have no experience with it.

Another option could be one of the pay for testing sites out there. A quick google turns up: http://www.usertesting.com/, http://www.feedbackarmy.com/, etc... I've seen ones where they record what the person is saying, and the actions they are taking and they can be effective for a nice usability overview.

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Sounds like you might be looking for a heatmap. Here's one company that offers it.

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Zurb's Verify offers a bunch of different types of tests(see the tour) for trying out concepts, and has a plan at $9/mo. A slightly more expensive plan offers deeper detail on users, but you'll have to evaluate if you need it.

For another heatmap option, there's Crazy Egg with a cheap plan at $9/mo.

For eye-tracking, there's Silverback at $70. I'm not sure there's really a way around needing an actual testing group for this.

[All prices "as of this writing," obviously.]

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thanks - is there anything totally free out there? :) –  Genadinik Apr 28 '11 at 19:10
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