User Testing with Peek

August 4th, 2014

Peek is a service by UserTesting that lets you see and hear a 5-minute video of a real person using your website. I wanted to try out the service and was pleasantly surprised with how insightful and useful the feedback that I received.

I also know Phil Sharp, the Senior Marketing Manager at UserTesting and I decided to ask him a couple of questions to find out more about Peek. Here’s what he had to say.

Peek by User Testing

Why is user testing important?

Great question! I think the main reason is that most of us as marketers, designers, and product managers are too close to our products. After spending months building and refining your site or app, you know it like the back of your hand. No matter how hard you try, you can’t unknow it.

Beyond this, you and everyone you know is biased. No matter how helpful your coworkers, family members, or friends want to be, it’s very hard to call your baby ugly. You need fresh, unbiased eyes to give you the feedback you need.

If you do usability testing right, you can really understand the mindset of the user. It’s one thing to make sure there are no errors being logged, or that people are getting through your funnel. It’s another thing to fully understand how people use and perceive your product. With usability testing, and specifically our solution at UserTesting.com, you can see and hear feedback from real people in your target market as they use your site or app. This is a powerful weapon that every developer, designer, and product owner should have access to and use frequently.

Watching other people use your website is invaluable, and it helps you to see your website through a different set of eyes.

How can Peek(User Testing) help us for user testing?

Peek is a quick way to get a gut check into how users perceive and use your site. It’s a great free (and incredibly simple) introduction to usability testing. We designed it so that if you have a client or colleague new to usability testing you can introduce them to the idea. For some projects, a simple Peek test might be enough to find the biggest usability issues. For many projects it’s simply a starting point that can give you direction on what might need to be tested more in depth.


I ran Peek on my website twice and you can watch the videos for yourself. It was a little weird watching other people use my website and talk about their experience, but I found it to be really helpful. There are definitely some changes that I have already made from watching these videos, and there are some more changes that I plan to make in the future.

Try running Peek on your website today and see what you might be overlooking.

“Many people believe in user testing, but in real design projects, not much testing takes place. Why the discrepancy between belief and action? Mainly, it is the company’s inability to fire off a quick, small test when faced with a design decision. Few organizations can run such tests within the deadlines required by fast-moving development projects.”

—Jakob Nielsen