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Melbourne-based startup Loop11 develops platform to enable detailed usability testing

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To help businesses perfect their online presence and ensure that visitors stick around, Melbourne-based startup Loop11 has developed a platform that enables users to run their own detailed usability testing.

According to a 2013 Nielsen report, the average internet user visits only 96 separate domains per month. To stand out from the crowd, sites (both new and old) must ensure that they satisfy a whole host of criteria, with flawless design and user experience (UX) at the top of the list.

A business is able to connect their webpages up to the Loop11 platform and set up ‘tasks’ for testing users to accomplish. The platform will then churn out a string of statistics based on the testing user’s interactions, allowing the business to understand how their site is performing and identify flaws in their UX model.

Founder Toby Biddle said the platform can help solve the “infinite” variation of problems that can be found on a website.

This product has already been used and adopted by some the world’s top brands including IBM, Accenture, Vodafone, Cisco and Deloitte.

[It’s] things like information architecture, the wrong placement of buttons, and things like that. That’s what usability testing is all about, it’s finding what those problems are and fixing them before the site goes live.

explained Biddle.

Biddle had identified a need for businesses to improve their online user experience over fifteen years ago, having founded a brick and mortar UX consultancy business in 2001. Here, clients would be able to complete usability testing using an old school physical observation approach.

That meant getting clients coming into a room to observe a user operating their website in separate room. It also limited us to only be able to test with small user sample sizes,

said Biddle.

Businesses also wanted to know statistics like what percentage passed or failed and other things, and we couldn’t really create accurate percentages without a larger sample size.

At the time, Biddle said site testing wasn’t nearly as popularized as it is now due to prior technological limitations. Nowadays it’s a different story.

Usability testing should be done on any type of website, whether they’re large or small. With the price of them, there’s really no excuse these days not to do usability testing.

said Biddle.

There’s also a lot of legacy sites out there which are using outdated forms which don’t really work anymore.

To translate the consulting service to the digital age, Loop11 was founded in 2009 to allow for larger scale tests with a bigger testing base, in order to ensure accurate testing.

Pricing for the testing platform itself comes in at either US$199 ($260) monthly or US$1788 ($2340) annually. The development of Loop11 was financially supported by Biddle’s existing consulting service, a measure which helped make kicking off a new startup easier. He is now “entertaining the idea” of raising funding.

Biddle said the startup currently has a 30,000-strong customer base, and will continue to focus on growing this number.


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