How and When to use our Overlay Web Recorder

Userlytics’ testing platform utilizes several different web recorders to give you and your participants the most seamless remote testing experience possible. The newest addition to our fleet of web recorders is our overlay web recorder. The updated web recorder, designed specifically for remote UX testing of websites, prototypes, and other external links, features a quick and easy onboarding system and an innovative draggable and resizable task window for our simplest testing experience yet.

Below we’ll go over the ins and outs of the new web recorder:

What Special Features Does the New Overlay Web Recorder Have?

Our new web recorder is unique due to the following special features:

  1. 1. Easy participant onboarding process
  2. 2. Stable connection
  3. 3. Floating task window

1. Easy Participant Onboarding Process

When a participant is invited to an online usability test that utilizes our new overlay web recorder, they will first receive a test invitation link. Upon opening the test link, they are redirected to a new webpage with instructions on how to download the web recorder extension. At this point, they simply need to click the “Download” button to get started.

After clicking the “Download” button, participants are directed to a new page where they can add the extension to their browser. Currently, the extension is compatible with multiple web browsers including Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and soon, Firefox and Safari. The web extension only takes moments to add.

After participants have finished adding the web recorder extension to their browser, they will automatically be directed back to the original tab where they can begin taking the test.

2. Stable Connection

Compared to our legacy web recorder, our new overlay web recorder features a very stable connection. Rigorous product testing among different computers, browsers and locations has shown that the system’s crash rate is near zero. What does this mean for you? Fewer compromised test results, and more data collection for you and your team.

3. Floating Tasks Window

The overlay web recorder features a floating tasks window that appears on the same screen as your website or prototype. The floating tasks window makes it easy for participants to review your website or prototype while continuing to complete tasks, without ever switching back and forth between tabs. It can be moved anywhere around the screen throughout the duration of a usability test, whether fully visible or minimized.

The floating task window displays the questions or actions the participant needs to complete throughout the test one by one. Participants can move the task window wherever they’d like to on their screen so that they can comfortably review the website or prototype while continuing to complete the test tasks. The simplicity and convenience of the web recorder’s draggable task window leads to less participant drop off, and more actionable UX insights.

What Kinds of Tests are Taken on the Overlay Web Recorder?

Our new overlay web recorder is designed specifically for tests that ask participants to open an external URL during the test, with the exclusion of moderated tests (Live Conversations).

When you are creating a usability test, make sure you select “Unmoderated Testing” for the test type. Then, select either “Website” or “Prototype” for what you are testing, depending on the brand asset you would like to gain insights on.

The “Test Type” section of your Userlytics test builder should look like the following if you are testing a website:

The “Test Type” section of your Userlytics test builder should look like the following if you are testing a prototype:

By selecting either of these options, the test will be conducted using our new overlay web recorder by default. If you have any questions or doubts about what web recorder participants will be taking your usability test on, please contact your account manager and they will be happy to assist you and provide clarification.

Are there any Drawbacks to the new Overlay Web Recorder?

Our new overlay web recorder tackles many of the most common pain points across UX testing platforms, including complex onboarding instructions, laggy software and cumbersome tab switching. With its easy onboarding process, stable connection, and easy task window, the overlay web recorder is the ideal solution for gathering quality UX insights on your brand websites and prototypes.

As of now, the only disadvantage of the overlay web recorder is that it is not yet available on browsers other than Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge. However, our developers are swiftly working on a Firefox and Safari version of the recorder, with more updates to come soon.

How Do Test Participants Use the New Overlay Web Recorder?

After one of your test participants adds the overlay web recorder to their browser, they will be guided through some basic steps before they can begin taking your usability test. Clicking the “Next” button will guide them through each of the initial basic steps.

Next, your test participant will be guided through the pre-test portion of your usability test. Here, the system will run a series of checks on their computer to ensure that everything is working correctly for the test. They should click the button that says “Test Configuration” to begin the pre-test.

After clicking the “Test Configuration” button, your participant will have to wait a few moments as our platform conducts the pre-test. This shouldn’t take longer than a minute.

As the pre-test is running, a pop-up window will appear asking your participant to share the contents of their screen. They should select the option that says “Your Entire Screen,” and then click “Share.”

After the pre-test is complete, a screen will appear that shows the results of the pre-test. If anything appears in red, your participant can click on the instructions in that section to correct the discovered issue. Once all issues have been resolved, they should click the button that says “Continue.”

After pressing the “Continue” button, a new screen will appear giving your participant the option to start the usability test. Once they are ready to begin, they can click the button that says “Start Test.”

After clicking the “Start Test” button, the floating task window will appear. To begin the test, your participant should click the button within the floating task window that says “Start Test.”

At some point throughout the test, your participant will be directed to a new tab with the website or prototype you have designated for them to review. The floating task window will show them the questions or actions they need to complete throughout the test one by one. Your participants may move the task window wherever they’d like to on their screen so that they can comfortably review the website or prototype while continuing to complete tasks. After completing each task, participants should click the “Next” button to move on to the following task.

Once a participant has completed the last test task, the floating task window will thank them for participating in the test, and give them instructions for submitting their test results. Participants should click the button that says “Submit” to upload their completed test.

After a participant submits their test, they will be directed to the test “Thank you” page.


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