Zurb uses Twitter and Facebook APIs to Socialize User Testing

California-based Zurb is turning the dry science of usability on its head by using Twitter and Facebook APIs to socialize user testing.

User testing has long been the domain of usability experts who utilize carefully controlled focus groups, panels and one-on-one interviews to assess software and websites. Zurb’s suite of socially connected testing products let anyone quickly and easily create a test and gather insights from Twitter followers and Facebook friends.

“Zurb’s Verify is all about rapid testing and decision-making,” says Customer Advocate, Louis Corso. “Sometimes you have a gut feeling and need some validation.

With Verify you can create a test in five minutes. If you are good about distributing over social media, you can get forty responses in two to four hours from people who you really trust,” added Corso.

Usability sciences are based on human reactions and interpretation. Most organizations that provide usability testing services conduct them use high touch modalities that typically require recruiting of test subjects and scripting of test questions before testing can even begin.

Zurb’s use of social media APIs to facilitate social testing and results collection radically accelerates this process and puts the testing procedure in the hands of non-specialists.

This immediate, API-driven testing methodology is a perfect match for agile development environments that are driven by rapid test and release cycles.

Zurb isn’t the right solution for every testing need. For example, when working with highly targeted audiences, or any audience that doesn’t match the demographic of your friends and followers, the results may not stand up to scrutiny.

Zurb currently offers Notable and Verify as paid apps and has two additional products, Solidify and Influence, in private release. They anticipate full release in the first half of 2012.

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