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The April 1st That Never Came

Introducing Orbuculum

We are making user research as easy as thought.

As pioneers in user research methodologies and technologies, we have always heard you.
Now we won’t have to anymore.

Instead of crackling microphones, unwieldy cameras, privacy invading browser setups, and unmanageable video uploads, we present to you a plug-and-play option to take tests and complete tasks.

A desk with an open laptop, with a crystall ball next to it.

It’s the thought that counts.

When presented with a task, you won’t have to follow any on-screen instructions or start and stop tasks. You won’t even have to talk out loud –your thoughts and feelings on the task will be automatically captured and transmitted to the platform.

Crystal clear.

With the patent-pending Ritnalap technology, we separate your regular thoughts from your thoughts on the task and product, so your private thoughts are always safe. We only get what we need; nothing more, nothing less.

User Research as a Service

I really wanted to pull a prank.
Not a prank prank, but you know, something fun.
Like Google does.
Like Joel wanted to do.

But I never worked in a place where I could pull one off.
Then I co-founded my own user research company.

Our company, Kullanıcı Ajansı (User Agency), was a participant recruitment & remote user research startup. We believed in two things: It should be easy to find participants for tests, and the tests should happen in a natural and familiar environment.

We wanted to provide an unintrusive, relaxed research process. We wanted people to experience all the regular distractions they would face while using the products or services we would be testing.

User Research as a Joke

We expected the occasional unmoderated testing quirks, but we got more technical problems than we anticipated. Microphones that were too quiet or screen recorders that produced artifacts when coupled with webcams were more frequent than we’d like.

The crystal ball gag was born from our search for a solution. We wanted a plug-and-play solution that would alleviate all our pain points, and at that time the only possible solution seemed to be a USB-powered crystal ball.

We eventually decided that developing one was beyond our capabilities as mere mortals, and was better kept as an April 1st gag instead.

I had hoped I would some day be back at the company, and run the gag some April, but with my recent move to Toronto it seems more and more unlikely. Recent WebRTC improvements also may prove the need for a crystal ball irrelevant.

Research for using Magic 8-Ball’s instead of A/B Testing is still going strong.