Crowd-sourcing usability testing with free Adobe Connect Pro licenses

Leisa and Mark recently blogged about crowd-sourcing usability testing. I'm really interested in this topic, in fact i spoke about it in DC. For those of you not familiar with the concept, the idea is to generate vast amounts of usage data. Consider the fact that Drupal has been tested 3 times, roughly once per year, generating approximately 24 videos of users attempting to fulfill a fraction of the tasks in Drupal core. While these tests reveal awesome facts about the Drupal experience, a large majority of Drupal---including roughly 4000 modules---remain untested. Why is this? Simply because formal lab studies require lots of cash, coordination, and time.

In contrast, let's assume 20 of you read this post, and 50 percent of you walk away and decide to test a particular module we all agree on. In a matter of 1 hour, no cash, very little coordination, we'll have 10 videos and lots of actionable results on how to improve that module. 100% more than what we have today.

Now, here's where this post gets cool. About 3 months ago, Adobe offered to give the Drupal community 500 licenses to Adobe Connect Pro. Armed with one of these licenses, users can join your very own Connect room (e.g.,, share their desktop, and have them complete tasks (amongst many other things). Very cool! So cool that I've adopted this process myself to test Acquia's products every week. Now while it is true that I have a background in usability, and know how to conduct an unbiased test, Leisa and Mark are setting up a framework for this testing so that anyone can succeed.

If you want to take part and help crowd source the testing of D7, and want access to a Connect Pro license - let me know. All I ask is that when the licenses expire, you do you part to write a brief statement on how you used the license, and how it benefited you as an open source designer/developer. That's it.

License are limited, so I cannot guarantee everyone will get one. Additionally, it may take me some time to grant access to everyone interested.

Jeff Noyes