Where to find usability test videos

On recent occations, I’ve realised that usability test videos make a strong point, when convincing team members, developers and management. Hearing somebody telling about users is just soo second-hand impression.

I’ve found very few videos that are publically available on the web:

Novell Suse linux desktop user tests
Novell made a bunch of videos available. These are videos of regular users doing regular tasks on Linux desktop. For instance, add an entry to the address book, change fonts, change wallpaper, etc.
Videos with disabled users (via www.dcft.dk)
Not really usability testing videos but a video about how disabled users use assistive technology to overcome their learning disability, blindness, dyslexia, etc.
Jakob Nielsen eyetracking video
From his latest alertbox a video clip from eyetracking research I wrote about in a previous post

I had expected to find more. Then searched for “usability” on Google video (9 results) and Yahoo video (297 results). A quick browse found no relevant usability testing videos within the 9 Google results. (I haven’t had time to look in the bigger Yahoo resultset).

Where are the videos that lay the ground for research made by Nielsen, Norman, Jared? Why can’t we see the videos that document the findings and guidelines in numerous books?

Why usability videos are hard to find

Confidentiality agreements must be part of the explanation. On a recent project we did some user tests and the users signed agreements that we would record a videotape only to help our research. We also promised that we would not make video clips public (in order to protect the privacy of the users).
I’ve been to a few Nielsen Norman seminars. Each of them has had videoclips documenting (or rather as examples of) research findings. I guess Nielsen Norman won’t share videos, because they want us to attend their seminars.

Share usability videos, not just your findings

I think that this opininon does more harm to the usability industry than it does good.

Shared usability videos has a broader audience. Usability specialists read usability reports, no developers, no marketing people read them. And management does not care about usability. Management cares about business cases. “What’s in it for our company?”

It’s my opinion that sharing those research videos will increase overall usability awareness. It will help usability professionals all over the world to raise awareness, and “sell” usability to developers and management. Video clips makes the point!

Call for participation

I may have overlooked valuable resources in my research for this post. For now I will not search any further for videos, but I’ll leave it up to you, dear reader. Please comment and link to any resources that you may find. I’m looking forward to your comments.

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11 Responses to “Where to find usability test videos”

  1. Jesper Rønn-Jensen Says:

    Short after I posted this, I found two more videos from eyetracking studies:

  2. Jakob Nielsen Says:

    See also the 53 minutes of usability highlights video available through http://www.nngroup.com/reports/flash/video/

  3. Jesper Rønn-Jensen Says:

    Jakob, glad you found our blog.
    Thanks for pointing to that link. I’ll persuade my boss to buy me the video material. Must be worth a lot more than the 124$. I really like that (for once) I can show it to my team, to developers, to managers.

  4. Jacob Strange (Jesper's boss) Says:

    Permission to buy the video given;-)
    /Jacob Strange

  5. Jared Spool Says:

    We actually rarely make usability highlight videos for our clients. Even with the increases in technology, we’ve found it’s not a cost effective mechanism to communicate what we learned. They take a tremendous amount of time to make, a long time to show, and the image quality is so poor you often can’t see what is actually happening on the screen.

    Instead, we use slide montages in Powerpoint that we narrate. We’ve found that we can easily communicate the frustration from the session while, at the same time, see the details on the screen. Because the narration can take any track you want, you can focus on on the problems on a single screen for several minutes or you can just flash by it and move on.

    So, that’s why you don’t see any videos from us. We haven’t made a highlight video since 1998.

  6. Jesper Rønn-Jensen Says:


    I find it interesting that you prefer to use slide montages in Powerpoint. Do you have any examples publically available? I’d like to see an example because I still have the opinion that actual videos are better to make the point (when communicate reults to management, etc.

    Please share any examples that you can!

  7. justaddwater.dk | Justaddwater.dk December 2005 Statistics Says:

    […] As you can see in the graph below certain days stand out from the crowd – especially Friday the 16th and Monday the 19th. This was due to our most prominent visitor to date: Jakob Nielsen. After he posted a comment in the “Where to find usability test videos” article our boss send out an internal e-mail to all in Capgemini Denmark referring to the article. […]

  8. Jesper Rønn-Jensen Says:

    John S. Rhodes navigates through Digg.com using screen capture video. He discovers and discusses several usability issues that could be hindering Digg’s profitability.

    You can purchase the entire video report, 18 minutes long, for $5.


    John’s Webword post about it:

  9. justaddwater.dk | Usability Study Video Highlights Says:

    […] When I originally wrote about usability videos, this was not the kind of videos I had in mind. But to be honest, I still want more videos to be available, so these edited “entertaining” short versions will be good too. […]

  10. Walt Says:

    http://www.usertesting.com has a usability test video of TripAdvisor.

  11. Usability Testing Says:

    Thanks for this article. Every commercial website owner needs usability tests, because this is the only way to know your audience. If you know what they want, you sell more!