This is the last of a three-part series about our app, Quantify, that we created to help us make our first feature documentary. This behind-the-scenes is possible by a partnership with the great people at UserTesting.

*To catch up and to get more insight into the app, check out our first and second posts.

Quantify is launched!

Jake and our developer, Ryan Newsome, flew to Vegas this last Tuesday for the afternoon to talk to editors and shooters at NAB about Quantify.

Last week, our little filmmaking app, Quantify, launched!

What started as a lark is now a polished 1.0 that we are so proud of. Launching our own app that is already saving other filmmakers hours is a great feeling. When we consider what our 1.0 might have looked like if we had never done UserTesting, we can't help but cringe.

Full disclosure: UserTesting is one of our great sponsors for App (June, baby!), and they loved the meta story of our app, so they sponsored us to bring you a little peek behind the curtain as Quantify was brought to life. We're incredibly grateful for this opportunity as their sponsorship funded the production of App for a season when things were tight, we got to use their great services for Quantify, and we could write whatever we wanted, good or bad.

As you know by now, our MO at Story & Pixel is very DIY, community funded, bootstrapped, or a mix of the two. We take pride in doing a lot with a little and, in that spirit, we, sadly, probably would have never considered UserTesting. Most likely, we would have written it off as something we could accomplish in our beta. Luckily for us, we had an opportunity to try out UserTesting and our app is better for it.

Standing where we are now, we see user testing as a necessary step in the development process, but it's not something you can realistically pull off well yourself. It's near impossible to find unbiased strangers who are willing to test your app and tell you to your face that it's shit. With UserTesting, we could write a test that was exclusive to full-time video professionals with deep experience with specific software and we would have candid video tests back within an hour.

  • UserTesting saved our developer a ton of time. We were able to fully understand problems before offering development ideas.
  • UserTesting exposed stumbling blocks that were confusing users. Quantify may be a simple app to use, but until we figured out how to clearly communicate the big idea, even seasoned filmmakers struggled to fully grasp the power of the app. Not only did uncovering this help us make the app better, it also informed our marketing in a profound way.
  • UserTesting was essential in streamlining the workflow of the app and testers gave us great ideas for alternate workflows and even new features!

Quantify's Onboarding Video

Quantify's New News Reader

Tooltip to explain ratings

Some changes to the app from our most recent rounds of testing

Take Away?

Knowing what we know now, the price for testing wouldn't deter us. Our first test with three users would have run us ~$150 at the introductory rate. Even if they were full price, the test results easily paid for themselves with the time and effort we saved, especially for our developer who is doing 90% of the work. We would recommend, at a minimum, running tests (even small ones) at three points:

  1. When you have your first working build
  2. In the middle of the project after implementing changes
  3. At the end while polishing the app.

We barely scratched the surface of what UserTesting has to offer. They have an ever expanding menu of services, great support, and a truly rich and vibrant culture that we were able to witness first hand while visiting their Mountain View office.

p.s. If you're interested, here are the full UserTesting videos we received this round. Enjoy!