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In the last post, I shared a useability testing secret everybody who has a website should know about.

The quick answer to the question of how much testing you should do is . . . “5 is the magic number.”

The inevitable question now is – how do you go about actually testing the 5 users you can easily round up in a flash?

There are a couple of options, but one of the services I know about and have used is www.openhallway.com — in short, it’s a site that lets you assign a task to a user, who then goes through your site and narrates what they are thinking and doing the entire time so that OpenHallway.com can record the screen, mouse movements and the users’ narration for later review.

(TryMyUI.com is another service that does similar kinds of screen-recording of user sessions with your site.)

OpenHallway.com was birthed from the same idea as what Jakob Nielsen is promoting:

A hallway usability test is where you grab the next person that passes by in the hallway and force them to try to use the code you just wrote. If you do this to five people, you will learn 95% of what there is to learn about usability problems in your code.

Basically, all you have to do is go out and recruit 5 people to test your website.  This should be a no brainer — get on Facebook, Twitter, Email, or literally, go down the hallway and ask the next 5 people you see.

The next part is the fun part. . . Continue Reading…