Simon Willison’s Weblog

Uzilla

Uzilla (via SurfMind) is a commercial product built on top of Mozilla:

The Uzilla suite is a set of tools for web based usability testing. It decreases the time and effort required set up and do usability testing while increasing the accuracy and power of the data collected during testing. Uzilla makes the job easier for both usability practioners and webmasters.

I’ve been learning about usability testing as part of a User Interface course at Uni. One of the principle methods of usability evaluation is to observe users as they work through a set of tasks. Uzilla consists of a web application for designing the usability test (survey questions, task lists), a modified version of Mozilla which displays tasks to the user and tracks everything they do within the browser and a set of tools to help analyse the user’s behaviour. Details on the visualisation part of things are sketchy at the moment but it looks like SVG is used to visualise the user’s individual mouse movements (lots of pretty lines and coloured dots at any rate).

Uzilla costs a fair whack ($2350 for a 3 test commercial license, discounts for non-profits and academic use) but looks more than worth it for large companies. The software was developed (at least in part) by Andy Edmonds, the guy behind Mozilla’s excellent Mouse Gestures add-on.

This is Uzilla by Simon Willison, posted on 24th October 2002.

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Previously hosted at http://simon.incutio.com/archive/2002/10/24/uzilla