Iterating with SoundingBox

January 3rd, 2018

  Tony Alongi

All teams aspire to test their designs and iterate on them. But too often they can't practice this because user testing is often too expensive and time consuming to allow for tests to be re-run to see if a problem was fixed. SoundingBox aims to change this.

Today I'd like to walk through how you can easily set up your first SoundingBox test, and then show you how to re-run the test and compare it with the first test to see if your change has improved things.

The first step in creating a study is to visit our study creation process. Here you can choose if you want to use your own participants, if you want limit participants by demographic groups, and the device you want participants to use.

People and costs

We're going to run a think-aloud test, so we want to make sure we choose yes for this option. You could choose to test multiple sites or prototypes, but for this example we’ll just choose one and focus on our site. We’ll also choose how many people to complete the test. For think-aloud tests, you can choose up to 30 people to complete the test. I’ve chosen 15 here.

People and costs

Next, we add our URL for our site or prototype and give it a name.

Sites or prototypes

Now we give our study a name and either choose a template or create the questions from scratch. Think-aloud tests can work with any of these templates, although traditionally this approach focuses on finding usability problems. For this example, I’m going to choose the Usability template.


For the last step, we define the specific tasks and questions we want people to respond to. In this example, the usability template has pre-populated with one open-ended task and several questions related to usability. I’m going to change the first task prompt to be a specific task.

Task and questions

Next, I’m going to add a second task and move it after the first success question. The SoundingBox app will prompt respondents to think-aloud and record audio and a screen recording of what they do when attempting each task.

Add task

After we confirm our order, our study appears in the Manage & Launch list, and we can send it out to participants.

Manage and launch

Let’s now fast-forward a few days later. Your data has been collected and you’ve reviewed the responses, which revealed some usability problems. You made some changes to your site or prototype and you want to run the test again with a new batch of respondents. One way that SoundingBox supports iteration is by letting you save an existing study as template.

My studies dropdown My studies modal

After you give your template a name and description, it’s saved to your account and will show up under My Templates when you are on the Templates step in the create study process.

My templates

Using the saved template, you can easily re-run the study and see if any design changes you’ve made to your site or prototype impact it’s usability. In the dashboard, you can load up both studies side-by-side in the comparison view to easily track the performance of each iteration.

Comparison view

You can also track the performance on a specific task or of a specific demographic group by applying a filter.


SoundingBox was designed with iteration and comparison in mind. Combining iteration with think-aloud, task-based testing is a powerful way to generate insights and improve your design.