Test Usability Clint Eastwood Style with 2 Mac Laptops over Just 1


2 m read


Usability Testing

Usability testing may be improved with just two Macs and a creative approach. The following post will make a tester’s day easier and better. Even if you knew all I will be writing here earlier there is still this awesome pic of Clint Eastwood to make your day.

So off we go to the point from the start like real cowboys walking into a salon. What would be required?

  • 2 Mac running machines
  • 2 rooms separated from each other
  • Any application that will be sharing both laptop screen as well as audio. Messages app may do the trick although you may use whatever it is you are preferring
  • A player like QuickTime or any other application. It’s purpose will be in recording whatever you, as a tester, will be doing for viewing later on

Apparently you have all figured out where things are going. There will be tester checking on usability in room A and a team of his colleagues in room B will be watching all his actions and listening to what is going on as well.

Setting things up

  1. Make sure that Bonjour under Preferences is enabled in Messages app.
  2. Start a new conversation from one of your devices with the other computer.
  3. Afterwards you are to share your screen. You may do so by clicking on the camera icon on the top left corner of your screen. Simply do so from the menu that will be available after clicking the camera icon.
  4. You are done!

Now that all is set your team will see and hear everything going on inside your screen from a different room so thy may be monitoring your actions with ease and a can of coke.

Note: You may use an external microphone for better audio quality.

Note: Your teammates will be able of controlling whatever is going on your screen from their machine with several clicks of a mouse. Make sure they are not doing so, otherwise the experiment is of zero value.

Note: This instruction will work in messages application. If you are using something else, I’m quite sure you will figure everything out.

All that is left for you to do is…

Setting up your player for screen recording

The following steps will work with QuickTime Player.

  • Go to file menu and choose the ‘New Screen recording’ option
  • Afterwards choose your mice or whatever it is you are using by clicking the small triangle
  • Choose the “show mouse clicks’ option
  • Hit record when ready and stop when done
  • Save the video

Surely all the advantages of such an approach while Usability testing are limitless, thus I’m quite sure you will be using it more often than you may have expected.

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