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CreativeUsesForMorae

CreativeUsesForMorae

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Published by Jay Eskenazi
Learn how to use TechSmith's Morae program to improve your mobile usability testing and focus group research
Learn how to use TechSmith's Morae program to improve your mobile usability testing and focus group research

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Published by: Jay Eskenazi on Sep 01, 2010
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05/01/2011

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FALL 2010
VOLUME 9 • NUMBER 1
IDEAS & TOOLS FOR QUALITATIVE RESEARCH 
 
TECH
TALK
46
QRCA VIEWS
FALL 2010 www.qrca.org
CREATIVE USESFOR MORAE
Beyond Website Usability:
B
Y
S
TEVE
G
ISSIN
Customer Experience Labs
Mercer Island, WA
steve@customerexperiencelabs.com
sability testing is a qualitativeresearch technique that gener-ates insights into how to designa product to optimize the experience ofits user.
Usability testing can be con-ducted on any kind of product, whetherit be a coffee maker, an automobile ora website.Researchers who conduct usabilitytesting typically follow a prescribedmethodology that involves observ-ing a participant while she uses theproduct being tested. While observing,the researcher engages the participantin a dialogue about what makes theproduct difficult or easy to use andhow to improve the product.Researchers usually video-record theusability test so they can review thetest during the study’s analysis phase.Recording also allows them to extractillustrative video excerpts to embed intheir reports.When usability testing is conductedon websites, the researcher follows thestandard methodology described above.He watches a participant navigate aweb-site and assesses the intuitivenessof the user interface, the ease of naviga-tion, the labeling of features, etc. How-ever, video-recording a website usabil-ity test can present some challenges.Morae
is a software applicationcreated to help website usability testersovercome those challenges.
Morae
101
Morae
was designed specifically forwebsite and computer application inter-face usability testing. It permits theresearcher to video-record a researchparticipant’s actions as she navigates awebsite, while simultaneously video-recording her feedback about the site.The participant’s screen navigationcan be recorded electronically and storedas a video using Morae’s
screen-cap-ture feature. The participant’s feedbackis also recorded using a webcam.Once these two video-recordings arecaptured, Morae
permits editing andcombining them into a single, synchro-nized video file. This single file displaysthe videos as a picture in a picture (PIP).A PIP shows one of the videos within alarge frame. Embedded within that largeframe is a second, smaller frame that dis-plays the second video. The two videosare played synchronously. The PIP videocan be viewed locally on a presentationlaptop or remotely — by clients, forexample — either real-time as the test isbeing conducted or later as a saved file.
Using Morae
forOther Types of Research
Although designed specifically forwebsite-usability testing, Morae
is an
U
Video-recording a website-usability test can present challenges. Morae™is a software application created to help website-usability testersovercome those challenges.
 
incredibly powerful and flexible applica-tion that can be adapted to other typesof research. This article will describehow to use Morae
with three suchpossibilities: traditional face-to-facefocus groups, mobile application usa-bility testing and Automatic TellerMachine (ATM) usability testing.
Using Morae 
™ 
to Improve Your Focus Group Research
A common focus group technique is toproject images or video onto a screen,and then explore the groups’ reactionsto them. Often, researchers simply usethe cameras provided by the researchfacility to capture single-frame video of both the stimulus and the participants’reactions. While this can capture thegroup discussion reasonably well, it typ-ically does not provide a clear imageof the stimulus, creating problemsduring analysis, reporting and clientviewing (Figure 1).Another common approach is touse two facility cameras. However,this approach can be costly because itrequires a camera operator. Also, thetwo cameras create two separate videorecordings that can lead to challengingreconciliation problems during analysisand reporting.Using Morae
solves these problemsby inexpensively capturing good qualityimages of both the stimulus and thegroup in one video feed (Figure 1).To capture the group discussion, sim-ply place an external USB microphoneon the table, and position the first web-cam on the group. To capture the screenimage, use Morae
Recorder’s built-in screen capture feature to easilyrecord your screen without a secondexternal camera.These two video recordings can thenbe broadcast as a real-time PIP to clientsin the backroom or around the globe.The following sample images illustratethe differences in approaches.
Using Morae 
™ 
to Test Mobile Devices 
Mobile devices experienced a renais-sance in 2010. We witnessed the emer-gence of the iPad, new ebook readers,Windows 7 mobile and dozens of newAndroid devices. These new devices,and the applications that run on them,require usability testing. It can be chal-lenging, however, to capture bothparticipants’ comments and the hard-ware/software interaction whenvideo recording usability tests onmobile devices.To capture the participants’ com-ments, simply focus a webcam on the
47
QUALITATIVE RESEARCH CONSULTANTS ASSOCIATION 
MORAE’S
THREECOMPONENTS
Recorder 
records two video feeds with Picture in a Picture (PIP) video.
Observer 
transmits the video feed to observers withinthe same firewall or via a remote meeting applicationsuch as GoToMeeting.
Manager 
is a video editor for reviewing notes and clipping highlight video.
Although it was designed specifically for website-usability testing,Morae™ is an incredibly powerful and flexible application that can beadapted to other types of research.
Figure 1Morae’s™ ability to combine two distinctvideo recordings into a synchronized picturewithin a picture (PIP) allows the viewer toclearly see both the stimulus and the focusgroup participants. Note that the stimulusis displayed as the main window forstronger presentations and analysis.Typical research-facility video is often outof focus due to the camera positioningbehind glass. Participants dominate thevideo frame, and the projected stimulus istoo small and out of focus for viewing.
Typical Research-Facility VideoMorae
Video

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