Mr Tappy is a highly extensible recording sled for mobile devices that can be used to capture your users as they interact naturally with devices, sites and software.
In my opinion Mr Tappy is the best multipurpose sled for filming usability testing, UX and human behaviour research that I’ve encountered. However there are some things to consider if you want to get the best results from the rig.
Modular design — enables highly flexible testing configurations and scenarios
Device agnostic — works with any device, is future proof
Low vibration — stiff frame reduces flex and blur in video feed
Professional aesthetic — looks the business, not like a hack
Portable — very easy to transport once collapsed
No tool assembly
‘Borrowability’ — mine is frequently stolen (!) borrowed by other teams
Customer service — my early edition Mr Tappy developed a fault with its hinges. Nick Bowmast quickly replaced the jig with his newer, lighter, weight design incredibly quickly and was a pleasure to work with.
Things to consider
Cost — can seem expensive for small teams / those with limited budget
Delivery time — ~5day lead time (ships from NZ, not the UK nor EU)
Weight, Balance — rewards use of a small camera; a possible additional expense
Wireless camera — for cable free, portable, and natural use cases. I use a wireless Veho MUVI Micro
Hinge adjustments — can occasionally need to tighten, tune the hinge joints during a session
The principal competitor is the Mobile Device Camera by behaviour research company Noldus. This looks like an interesting design because it appears to be lighter weight (although none is listed) and its two parallel arm construction might reduce vibration in the video feed further.
Let me know in the comments if you are aware of any other camera rigs.
Nice example of functional requirements engineering and standardisation on a project that marries legacy infrastructure (the platform height, distance) with a new bespoke build (the new TfL S Stock trains). A usable, inclusive and delightful experience; someone, somewhere, did their job right.
A nice graphic from a New York Times article — An Appeal to Our Inner Judge — about the innate ability of our unconscious mind to create bias, assumptions and profiling; particularly as applied to people.
Identifying and factoring for inherent prejudice is essential in many aspects of user experience work; perhaps when recruiting new team members, meeting new clients but especially when working with research participants.
I also like how this graphic illustrates how many cognitive activities, conscious or otherwise, are undertaken by a researcher as they facilitate experience design sessions, particularly how many variables can be brought into play during a seemingly simple one-to-one interaction like a interview, let alone something more complex like a focus group or usability test.
In both cases being aware of the unspoken influence your inner judge will positively affect your ability to reach better outcomes and decisions for your project.
Real web design is what Google, Amazon, Twitter, and Facebook do. It’s about making the customer the hero, the center of attention. It’s about facilitating the customer to do what they want to do. Digital is not a technology. It’s a way of thinking that puts the customer first.
So, the corporate chieftain who once declared that “the food business is not a technology business” has spent $42 million to update Panera. “The goal is to eliminate friction points so that customers have a better experience […] because if they have a better experience, it will help our business.”
The integration and establishment of user experience design practice continues apace! A nice case study about the CEO of the Panera Bread restaurant chain ‘eating his own dog food’, reflecting on his privileged experience, and having the influence to affect changes that empower his customers.
Léonie was talking about Practical Accessible User Experience for the annual UXPA (UK) event for GAAD 2014. She also coined the abbreviation / tag #AUX, which, on balance, I prefer to the more established a11y — very similar to Accessibility as deep usability. =)
Leisa was talking about about affecting good user-centred practices in large and complex organisations via her role at GDS. As usual she had lots of sensible, practical and plainly spoken advice for helping to stay focussed on collaborating to ship great experiences.
“User research closes distance”
— insightful and succinct way to remember and describe empathetic experience design practice.
“Every team member should observe 2 hours of user research every 6 weeks”
“At least one session of research should e planned for every two weeks of design work”
— about the idea of a minimum viable number of exposure hours that are necessary to make a difference to a project team.
Also about using quantifiable targets (numbers) to positively affect behaviour, culture and processes: “it’s amazing how things just become a thing”.
“The strategy is delivery. Deliver useful stuff to teams incredibly regularly”
— a nice way to think about selling your value to people and teams by being dependable, visible, findable and just-in-time.
Those with the silo mentality allow a situation to develop where the customer is presented with a jumbled set of jigsaw pieces. One thing is for certain: customers do not visit you in order to do jigsaw puzzles.