OpenHallway Mentioned in Remote Research Book

April 19th, 2010

Many thanks to Nate Bolt and Tony Tulathimutte for the recent mention in the book “Remote Research.” Nate recently gave us a copy and I read it cover to cover. In my estimation, this book is by far the most thorough and complete guide to remote user testing on the planet. If you have any questions about how to conduct remote research/remote usability testing, this is the definitive guide. It’s published through Rosenfeld Media. OpenHallway mentioned on page 205. To purchase, check out this link

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Feature Update – 20 Minute Recording Sessions for Paid Plans.

April 7th, 2010

Today we pushed an update to OpenHallway that changes the recording session limit to 20 minutes for all paid plans. The previous 10 minute limit on recording sessions will still apply to free accounts. We hope that by extending the recording session time, customers will be able to gather additional usability feedback. We appreciate customer feedback and will continue to try and make improvements to help you conduct better usability tests.

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$19/Month Plan, API, and Improved Free Account Released

December 9th, 2009

We’ll be sending out an email to our customers here shortly, but wanted to get this up on the blog straight away.  Some major announcements today at OpenHallway.  Here’s the draft of a letter going out to our customers on the free plan:

Dear OpenHallway Customers,

We appreciate you trying out the free plan on OpenHallway! We don’t often bother our customers, but we have made some exciting changes we thought you might like to hear about.

New $19/Month Plan!

We’ve received a lot of feedback about our pricing, so we decided to expand our offering to include plans that fit every budget. Check out the new Plans and Pricing page. You can login to your free account and upgrade to this new $19 plan at any time!

Improved Free Account

We realized that there were a few problems with understanding our free account. We’d like to invite you to login and try it again. We’ve improved things like always making available the recording link for your one project and scenario. We also now allow you to have up to 3 videos in your account at the same time. We’ve improved our messaging letting you know how many videos that you have left within the free plan. You can also delete your videos and use the recording link again within the free space limit. We hope that with the new improvements you’ll give it another try.

Release of Our New API

Today we launched an API that will allow you to utilize our screen recording technology within your own apps. We’re excited to see the creative ways in which the community will incorporate our great recording technology within new applications. To have access to the API, you must be on our premium account. For more information on API documentation and pricing, please contact us at:

Improved Screen Recording

We have significantly improved the quality of screen recording. We invite you to login to your account again and record another video to see these improvements. As always, when watching a recording, try our full-screen mode for the best viewing experience!

Thank You!

Thanks again for trying OpenHallway.  We hope our latest improvements get you excited enough to login again and give us another go. OpenHallway is now more affordable than ever with our new $19/month plan.

- The OpenHallway Team

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Improved Recording Quality and Expanded Free Account

December 2nd, 2009

Today we released a change to our recording technology that has significantly improved the quality of video.  Give it a try, it looks even better when viewing in full-screen mode!

We’ve also expanded our free account.  The free account now gives you more fully functioning control within a one project and one scenario limit, and  now includes 3 recording results that can be deleted.   We also allow you to always see the recording link in the free account so that you can come back and use the account again, versus our old method of try it once and be done.  We hope that by adding more value to the free account that our users will get a better taste of OpenHallway.

Also, we’re working fast and furiously on our API.  To give you a sneak preview, the API will allow customers to take advantage of using our recording technology.  Getting an API key will require a premium account and there will be a per-video charge for recording.   We hope to announce some more exciting changes coming soon…

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Usability Tests Guided Design Decisions for the New Super Mario Wii Game

October 19th, 2009

Shigeru Miyamoto, the father of Nintendo’s Mario franchise, recently met with reporters to discuss the new Super Mario Brothers game for the Nintendo Wii.  After reading a report of the interview, I was impressed with how influential usability testing was in major design decisions of the game’s development.

When asked why the multi-player features of the game were not developed for network play, Miyamoto responded,

“…from our focus testing we found that when people were playing alone, they were very serious, and when they were playing together in the same room, they all had smiles on their faces and were talking back and forth. We felt that this type of experience was just better suited to a same room, face-to-face multiplayer experience, rather than over the Internet.”

Here’s a link to the full interview:

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OpenHallway – Official Sponsors of World Usability Day and UPA

October 11th, 2009

We’re happy to announce our sponsorship of World Usability Day and the UPA organization.  OpenHallway continues to look for ways to get involved in the usability community.  We look forward to the great events coming up this year!

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A Must Read – A List Apart Article on Usability Testing

October 9th, 2009

Many thanks to Dana Chisnell of A List Apart for the recent article on usability testing.  We’re big ALA fans, and this article is so relevant in the web development world right now.   The article is called, Usability Testing Demystified -  It’s a must read.

Our favorite part – “But most real-world usability tests need to be lighter and faster.  Some of the best user experience teams do only a few hours of testing every month or so, and they may not even think of it as ‘usability testing.’ They’re ‘getting input’ or ‘gathering feedback.’” Sounds like almost a direct quote from Steve Krug’s book.  Great article Dana.

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New Security Features and UI Updates

September 14th, 2009

We’re happy to announce some new features for the Premium account as well as some UI updates!  For our premium users, we now have an  “Enterprise Security” feature.  We know the word “Enterprise” sounds a bit…well, enterprise”y”, and our little start-up is anything but “Enterprise” by any means, but our customers within larger organizations needed some added levels of security.  By default, all accounts upload video via SSL.  OpenHallway also uses a proprietary method for encoding videos for an added layer of security making SSL almost unneeded, but we did it anyway.  For Premium users, videos are also stored in the database encrypted using a unique encryption key per OpenHallway account.  Delivery of the video back to the account is also done in a secure way with this encryption technique.  For premium accounts, the Enterprise Security feature is on by default.  If you want to turn it off, go to the “settings” link (part of our UI updates).  Enterprise security is a great feature if you are planning to do a lot of live testing of ecommerce sites with real credit card data being recorded or other sensitive personal information.

Quick screenshot
Picture 4

Also, You’ll notice some UI changes that we’ve made including the new settings sub-navigation in the right column.  We also updated the plans & pricing page.

Another Screenshot
Picture 5

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Upgrading OpenHallway

September 9th, 2009

We’re adding some new security features tonight. We apologize for the inconvenience if you catch us during our upgrade.

A post outlining the new features is coming soon!

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Video Example of Custom Thank You Messaging Feature

August 26th, 2009

For those who don’t like to read, I created a quick video example of how the new feature works.

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