Most SoundingBox studies involve collecting screen recordings from participants who interact with a site or prototype based on tasks you specify. Replays help uncover where people get stuck and how people feel about what you're making.
It's not easy for teams to see how real people interact with what they make. We have all kinds of ways to test software to ensure quality. Unit tests. QA tests. Automated tests using tools like Puppeteer. But none of these methods show teams what it's like for real people to try out how something works, what something means, or more importantly, if they find it meaningful. This is where replays come in.
# Replays at the Core
This simple observation is a founding principle of SoundingBox. Designers and developers need tools that make it easier to put what we're building in front of people throughout the development process—the earlier the better. And when we're saying "put something in front of someone"—we're ultimately talking about being able to play back what they said and did, analyze it, and share it with colleagues.
At SoundingBox, everything leads back to replays. Studies collect replays. Tasks help participants create replays. Questions and the data they produce are linked to replays. Data blocks allow you to jump to the most meaningful replay first. Where do your insights happen? Replays.
Replays in Action
Everything converges on replays.
# Getting Real with Replays
But what are replays? Well they're videos. MP4s to be precise. We've spent a deal of time ensuring they be useful.
- They're hyper-fast. When they're being recorded, the UI is perfectly responsive for the participant, and your prototype never lags.
- They're high fidelity, recording at 30 frames per second, so you don't miss subtle UI changes as they happen.
- They record everything that happens on screen: WebGL, the onscreen keyboard on touch devices, showing you exactly what the participant sees.
- They include voice, when you choose it, letting you hear the thoughts of what real people think as they interact.
But that's not what replays really are. What they really are is an opportunity for you and your team to connect with a fellow human, to see what you make through their eyes.
# Insights and Replays
Insights happen in replays. Replays bring clarity to how a feature needs to be redesigned, whether something will work as intended, or why people may be bouncing. Where your insights will happen, we cannot say. But they will happen. And we'll continue to refine the process of pinpointing them and sharing them with your team as SoundingBox evolves.