Crowdsourced Usability Testing?

Feedback Army is a new service where you submit your website, $7, and you receive 10 comments.  I wonder how effective such ultra discount usability evaluation would be.  I guess if some is better than none, this is a pretty good service.  However, who exactly is offering the feedback, what are their qualifications?  And is it more than, “your website sucks”.  Hopefully, this kind of service won’t further marginalize the importance of “usability”.

[Feedback Army via Google Blogoscoped]

2 thoughts on “Crowdsourced Usability Testing?”

  1. Hi Richard, I wrote Feedback Army and would like to thank you for the mention. The Feedback comes from workers on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk service. The demographics are roughly more women then men, most people aged 20-30, and half have college degrees. More on that here: http://behind-the-enemy-lines.blogspot.com/2008/03/mechanical-turk-demographics.html

    As for the “is it more than your website sucks” question, it is. On the homepage I link to feedback received from some of my customers (with permission) so you can see what you’re getting ahead of time. The feedbacks are usually 1-3 paragraphs and offers answers to questions posed by my customer with insights of the reviewer.

    The reviewers come from different backgrounds and I’ve been blown away by the specific insights offered. One example: A user posted a website for a printable board game. The product is delivered in PDF. A Feedback Army reviewer commented on the PDF not working on MacOS X, what the defects were, and steps the requestor should take to embed the fonts into the PDF.

    I hope this helps clear up your questions. Thank you again for the mention. — Raphael

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