Building PingPong: Product Update #2

Published on 2017-06-15 by Zsolt Kocsmarszky

We’ve been working relentlessly in the last few months to move the product forward. We’ve redesigned the interface, added new features and got rid of one too many bugs. Our goal is to make PingPong the most advanced UX research platform to help you and other fellow UX researchers do what they do best. We’ve added a lot of useful things – let’s get started with our second product update.

Major features

New design

We rolled out a completely new design to improve the overall experience of our app. As the product grew, we realised that a better navigation and design structure to support future improvements was needed. We added a new sidebar on the left so that you can quickly access main sections of the app. Besides structural improvements, we also revamped the design slightly for a fresher style.

Android screen sharing

You now can ask participants to share their Android device screen. This can easily be initiated from the participant’s video call interface.

How does it work? Just get your tester to click on the [Mobile screen sharing] button while on a video call with you. He or she will then get an email with the following instructions to complete:

  1. Install the PingPong Android app.
  2. Once the PingPong app is downloaded on their mobile device, they’ll need to click on the unique link (sent in the instruction email) to launch the PingPong app and share their Andriod device’s screen with you.

That’s it. It’s really simple to use and doesn’t require a cable – just three simple clicks for you to view a tester’s Android device screen. The best part? While all of this is going on, you will still be able to see the users via their laptop camera and even view their computer screen. That’s three videos running at the same time and a complete remote user research lab at your hands, if you ever needed one.

Video playback improvements

Due to technical reasons, we previously couldn’t display proper HD videos to show your individually recorded streams. Instead, your post-interview recordings consisted of  just one video with all the streams inside. This bugged us because it was limiting for our users and wasn’t a great viewing experience either as videos were not in high quality. We’ve now put an end to this. From now on, all your new recordings will be stored in HD video. Plus, with a simple click, you can freely pick and view a desired video stream.

Spectate

We bet you are going to love this one:  you can now invite your team members to spectate your interview sessions remotely. All you need to do is to use the Invite spectators button. Your colleagues will then receive an invitation via email to view the session live. To keep inline with best user research practices, spectators will not be able to interact with you or the participant while viewing the session.

Share recordings

You can now easily share recorded videos with your peers using a unique, password protected URL. We’ve made a sample recording below so you can see this feature in action:

Build your own research panel

The other name of this feature is “Bring Your Own Testers”. You can now create and customize your very own registration form to recruit your own users for future research. People registering using your form will be exclusively available for research within your team. With your own research panel, you and your team will have more control over the session length, incentive amount and details asked during the registration.

This is one of the most powerful features we’ve built so far and there’s lots more ground to cover, so stay tuned for a blog post specifically on “Bring Your Own Testers” coming up soon.

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Smaller improvements

Indicate when someone joins a call

Whenever a researcher ran a session and a user joined the call, there would be no indication of the new party joining. This was an issue in some cases when the video was a little slow to load and researchers didn’t realise someone had joined the call. To solve this, we’ve placed a little indicator in the chat and added a notification sound that will play whenever someone joins a session.

The same scenario will also apply when someone leaves a session: a sound will be played again to indicate that someone just left the session. This alert will only to apply to the researcher and tester. In other words, spectators joining and leaving the session will not trigger any sound.

Filtering in mobile device

We’ve started collecting information about the mobile devices used by users who’ve signed up to our platform. This will allow you to find people by their iPhone (and its version) and Android (and its version + manufacturer). We’ve started seeing more and more research taking place on mobile so having this option should improve the PingPong user experience for both researchers and testers.

(Note: we’re still missing screen sharing for iPhone but we’re working hard to add it soon)

View as user

As a researcher, you  can now view how the research looks like from the perspective of a users on the research details screen. This allows you to quickly inspect session dates to ensure you have enough spots available.

Facebook and LinkedIn validated tester profiles

To level up our “Know Your User” process, we’ve added an option for users to verify their profiles via Facebook or LinkedIn. This is an optional step for now and we do not require users to complete this. However, it’s one of the first steps of an upcoming feature that will allow researchers to easily find more relevant people.

Referral system for testers

Our testers have begun using our referral system to help recruit more testers for PingPong. The outcome so far has been great and now we have 15% of our new testers signing-up through referrals.

Implementing Gravatar

To make PingPong more visual and human, we’ve implemented Gravatar as a default service for profile pictures. If you’re a tester and you have a Gravatar account, we’ll automatically update your profile image with your Gravatar profile picture.

What’s coming next?

We’ve got plenty of more great features in the pipeline Don’t forget to, keep your eye on our blog as more major feature updates will be coming your way soon.

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