Kyle Henderson – YouEye.com
Today’s interview is with Kyle Henderson of YouEye.com who is talking with us about YouEye, an easy user testing service for websites.
For those who don`t know you can you introduce yourself?
Certainly, my name is Kyle Henderson and I am a co-founder of YouEye.com. I have 10+ years of experience in product management, design, and development for a number of web companies. In my free time I am an avid slackliner and cook. I enjoy long walks with my wife and dog near my home in Mountain View, CA. I carry an android phone and have replaced my laptop with an iPad.
How was YouEye started?
The idea for YouEye came directly from my attendance at “An Event Apart” Conference. I was listening to a presentation on web form usability by Luke Wroblewski when lightning struck. Luke was telling a story about recruiting user testers to be observed by an expensive consulting firm. Tens of thousands of dollars were being spent on this user research. It struck me that it is silly to do in person observational testing on websites. The beauty of the web is that location is irrelevant. It makes sense to test online websites online, the participants are already present. Thus the idea for YouEye was born. I then connected with a long time friend who is a very talented full stack web developer and we were off the races.
What is YouEye and how can it benefit site owners?
YouEye is an easy user testing service for websites. We record people completing tasks on any website. You can watch a video of a tester’s screen while hearing their comments, critiques, and suggestions. A user test can be shared with your users, coworkers, and friends via a link. Or you can hire on-demand testers from YouEye. Site owners benefit by connecting with an audience while building websites. Personally, I have learned from experience that it is better to design with feedback than to design in the dark.
Do you have any success stories from site owners you can share with us?
Many of our customers have commented on how YouEye has helped them. Most of the feedback speaks to how we solve the “to close to the canvas” problem. Over and over again our customers rave about how our videos deliver “insights”. Most site owners didn’t realize that visitors where confused by a headline, couldn’t find an important button, or that a user had a completely different expectation about the purpose and offering of a site. This is because site owners are so familiar with what they have built, written, and designed that it is difficult for them to take a step back see things through the eyes of the consumer. It is very difficult to discover a user’s first impression of a site without a way to observe; this is what user testing is all about. Sadly, testing is expensive and cumbersome for any size business and that is the problem YouEye solves. We make user testing easy.
What makes YouEye special?
We are dedicated to the long tail and we love what we do. Our team sweats over building a great product specifically for individual, small, and medium size web businesses. We are the only user testing service with a free account and we crave making the lives of web professionals like us easier.
How long did YouEye take to develop?
It has taken 4,217 hours of development and product work. That is 196 days or 6.5 months of continuous around the clock work.
What platform is the application developed upon?
We use the Ruby on Rails web framework, but we have a lot more complexity than just your basic web app. Our stack includes HTML, CSS & SCSS, JS, Ruby, Java, ActionScript, and C++ and is entirely hosted in the cloud.
What skills are needed to build a fantastic service like YouEye?
Curiosity and then endless initiative. Great products are built because their creators never stop caring, rain or shine. A strong understanding of design and an understanding of full stack web development are also pluses. Many of our team members can troubleshoot anything from a CSS issue to a FFMPEG C++ library bug, but all of us had humble beginnings. Personally, the first website I ever made was a hack of code and MS Frontpage WYSIWYG. It is an awesome time to be alive, because the existence of the Internet allows anyone with motivation access to answers to and resources on any issue. Where there is a will, there is a web reference, and then a way.
What software or apps are essential to building YouEye?
Please give our trainees some advice on setting up a great app like YouEye.
Build something you want to use and give it to people like you. Make friends who have similar skills but different strengths. Quite often you first team will be people you already know. Iterate with feedback or never create in the dark. Stories of folks disappearing into a hole and reappearing with a product of liquid gold are usually forgetting about the prequel – months or years of observing other people’s pains. Learn Rails or Django. These frameworks help you turn an idea into a first draft within a day. Then iterate with feedback like crazy.
Kyle, thank you for this interview!
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