Building PingPong: Product Update #1

Published on 2017-01-11 by Zsolt Kocsmarszky

Session length and compensation

We now have 2 session lengths to choose from: 30 minutes or 60 minutes. Over the 150 remote UX sessions we arranged in the last few weeks of beta testing, we saw that the vast majority of sessions were clustered into 2 groups: between 20–30 minutes and between 40–60 minutes.

This simplification removes a little of the flexibility we were giving our moderators (till now, you could choose the exact length you wanted) but should also smooth the process of booking sessions: we’ve researchers struggling to figure out the best test session length to pick, so hopefully this guided option will make the process easier.

We also removed the option to select your own compensation totals and choose exactly how much you want to pay testers. If the session length was a struggle for our beta testers so far, picking the right compensation was even more difficult.

We’ve seen researchers really struggling with this one and we realised that we had to guide them a bit more. Now, it’s no longer something our testers need to worry about: we handle everything and calculate the best compensation to attract testers.

We’re still going to compensate our testers fairly: participating in a 30 minute session will earn them $25, while 60 minutes pays out $45. We’re planning to explore this much deeper in the future and might even introduce dynamic compensation to further incentivise our testers.

Credit system

We implemented a credit system that simplifies our UX flow. A 30 minute session will cost 1 credit while 60 minutes costs 1.5 credits. You can purchase a single credit for €75.

We also implemented some smart notifications (with email, of course) that let you know if your account is running low on credits.

This credit system will also allows us to fuel an upcoming feature: teams. This will let team collaborators spend the team’s credits balance without needing to handle payment and billing themselves: again, a much simpler experience.

Video calling with screen sharing and recording

According to our beta users, this one is a “killer feature”. If you’re running remote UX research right now, you probably had to register a separate Skype account, then figure out how to record, store and share the videos with your team. This is a painful experience and not really something we should have to deal with in 2017.

Now, everything is inside PingPong! Video calling (with screen sharing) and recording is built into PingPong. We’ve also implemented chat functionality in case the video fails and you need to communicate with your tester. We’ve also kept the Skype ID information available as a safe fallback, so you can still rely on this for now if you prefer, or have technical issues.

We have one little requirement, you need to use Chrome browser (over 80% of our users are using it already, so we think this is a fair trade-off). The recordings are stored and saved by us and can be played back anytime, or even downloaded for further editing.

This is a huge step for PingPong is our first baby step towards becoming a full platform for user testing: it should massively help both our researchers and also our testers to have great sessions. And it will allow us to build amazing features around this functionality in the future. We hope you’ll like the this improvement and you’ll find it useful.

Manual approval of users who fail your screening criteria

Sometimes we tend to create screening questions which are a bit too restrictive or specific and accidentally filter out too many people. Sometimes this means you don’t have enough people available to run your test.

But we know it’s better to have a session with someone who doesn’t perfectly fitting your ideal criteria, rather than not talking to anyone at all.

That’s why we implemented a little feature called “Allow booking”. This will “unlock” a user who failed your screening questions on the first attempt and approve them to participate in the session regardless:

What’s coming next?

That’s all for now, but hopefully you’ll enjoy these features!

Our next move is to focus on stability and improving our interface and experience further. We have many things to do here and we want you to love PingPong even more, so we’ll work hard to achieve that!

We’re going to launch PingPong publicly in a few weeks and expect to see many more users on the platform.

We’ll also be running a series of lessons on how to run great remote UX research. If you’re interested, sign up here, or share the link with someone in your team or network who might benefit.

Got feedback? We want to hear about it: go ahead and leave a comment or send an email to team@hellopingpong.com or join our Slack.

We created a fail-safe email course to teach you how to conduct UX research like a pro.