Gorilla, err, Guerrilla Usability Testing

Silverback: Usability Testing Software for the Mac
Silverback's gorilla logo.

One our first tasks in getting usability testing for Moodle up and running is to find software that can capture video of everything that’s happening on screen, while simultaneously recording the audio of the user’s thought process.

We’re still looking at Windows options, but the hands-down favorite on the Mac is Silverback. This $50 app does all of the above (video capture, audio capture) but also uses the Mac’s iSight camera to record the user’s facial expressions during the test and plays it back “picture in picture”. The end result can be exported as a Quicktime movie in four different qualities.

The software doesn’t have a huge number of options, but what it does, it does very well. We’re using the trial version of the software for our initial round of testing, but I expect we’ll buy full versions in the very near future.