Feedback is an essential part of what we do at ZURB on a daily basis. Giving and getting valuable feedback is always better with the option to touch and feel a design. Having something that users can interact with can only make it easier to see if your designs will fly out in the wild.
Which is why we're super excited today to introduce Solidify, the third major app in our product suite that lets you create clickable prototypes for user testing.
Solidify lets you easily assemble prototypes with sketches, wireframes or mockups. You can create them for any device, from a desktop to a smartphone to a tablet. Solidify is also the only prototyping tool around that allows you to collect data on how people are interacting with your designs. With Solidify, you'll be able to validate your ideas through user testing.
We've been working hard for the past few months to get Solidify ready for release. It was in Private Release for a hot minute, during which we were busy gathering extensive user feedback and iterating on the features. Yep, you heard that right. We user tested our tool for user testing.
User Testing Helped Us Get Where We Are
The private release of Solidify was an opportunity for us to run user testing of the app and learn how users were interacting with it. Not only that, but the private release also helped us ferret out the places where users would stumble or what areas of the app could be improved for them.
There were four aspects of the app that really benefited from user testing:
- Linked Sets: One of the things we kept hearing from users was that they wanted to easily create hot spots that would appear on several pages, but not all of them. This made sense, so we created linked sets to pin a hot spot to a group of pages.
- Pre-loading Images: Getting people to use Solidify before it was officially launched, let us learn a few things that we wouldn't have noticed just doing QA testing of our own. It's impossible to know all of the issues you might face before going into production. One of our issues was speed. Many users reported that Solidify lagged while switching screens on prototypes. To correct this, we made all pages attached to hot spots on the current page preload.
- Decrease Hot Spot Opacity : Our users weren't shy about giving us feedback on even the smallest details. Our most requested feature was simply to adjust the opacity on our live hot spots. They were concerned that the text and buttons on their screens didn't stand out. This is a very simple change, that greatly impacted the usability and impression of the app for our customers.
- Track All Clicks: With this we saw an opportunity to further differentiate ourselves from other tools that are only wireframe builders. As a way to collect results from user testing, Solidify members had to see where their testers were clicking. Which is why we introduced Mouse Click Tracking, which lets users watch a video of their testers interacting with the prototype. This allowed users to see each location where a tester attempted to click.
It's very meta to think that we actually user tested an app that was meant to help others user test their own clickable prototypes. But allowing people to use Solidify before its official release was helpful in perfecting the app. We look forward to hearing the feedback we receive as more and more of you use the app. So what are you waiting for ...