PlaybookUX Competitive Analysis

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PlaybookUX Overview

PlaybookUX provides user feedback for concepts, prototypes, websites, and products with video feedback and even one-on-one interviews with the participants. Their software enables the recruitment of a pool of product testers, which can include both targeted demographics for B2C products and those employed in specific industries for B2B products. In addition, PlaybookUX provides AI analytics of the test results, videos & transcripts, international participants, and the ability to use one's own participant pool in the test.

The requested information has been collected into the project spreadsheet as requested.

History

PlaybookUX, which is headquartered in the Greater New York Area, was founded in November 2018 by Kristen Giovanniello and Lindsey Allard. Apart from appearing in several lists of female-founded companies, PlaybookUX has not received any media attention (e.g., there are no news stories featuring the company) and has not raised any venture capital according to Crunchbase. While they have engaged in social media marketing via their YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter, the only outside attention that the company has garnered was a brief mention in a Nielsen Norman Group writeup comparing different tools for unmoderated usability testing in September 2019.

Products

PlaybookUX presently provides only a single product, their Full User Testing Software, which "gives companies access to the right users and uses artificial intelligence to extract meaningful user insights from your research." This software allows for both unmoderated testing with preset tasks and moderated one-on-one communication with the testers. Their pool of product testers includes both targeted demographics for B2C products and those employed in specific industries for B2B products.

Funding

PlaybookUX not raised any venture capital according to Crunchbase, making it likely that Giovanniello and Allard are funding the company out of their personal finances.

Claims

PlaybookUX claims to allow testing of prototypes, websites, et al., in a way that is less costly than developing "something that falls short of your customer’s standards." In addition, they claim that their software can provide insights into more efficient site navigation, marketing effectiveness, value prop and pricing structure, and even competitive intelligence, i.e., how well one's product stacks up against similar products. Finally, they claim that their software enables a company to recruit specific demographics relevant to the product being tested, both in the US and internationally.

Team

PlaybookUX's team currently comprises only three individuals, none of whom seems to have claimed the CEO position:
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PlaybookUX Competitors

Our research located one of the few references to PlaybookUX outside of its own website and social media platforms, a Nielsen Norman Group article comparing different tools for unmoderated usability testing in September 2019. This gave us a pool of 15 possible competitors, which we reviewed one-by-one, starting with the most recent and most similar to PlaybookUX and working our way backwards until we had identified nine additional candidates, which we have entered into the project spreadsheet.

SoundingBox

  • This platform provides testing for basic usability, e.g., seeing "where people get confused, hesitate or have questions." However, they also provide more advanced testing capability via their experience^2 product, which helps to reduce bias in creating prototype A/B testing and/or competitive tests. Their services are available at both a $149/month "Pro" option and Enterprise packages at negotiable rates.

UserInsight

  • UserInsight is an outsourcing vendor which provides both a team and user testing resources "in order to ensure your product is a success — in-homes, offices, factories, in-lab at our facility, or even remote interviews." They focus on an "iterative approach to design" at each phase of development, providing trained design staff who are directly involved with the test users.

UserBob

  • This platform enables "average users" across the US to record their live reactions as they first try out a new website or app, providing direct qualitative feedback to the developer. Due to having an existing pool of testers, an initial test can be set up and start running in a few minutes, with initial feedback being available within hours. UserBob allows the developer to target specific demographics and even allows UX firms to "white label" specific videos "to be bundled with your service."

Userlytics

  • Userlytics is a platform which allows developers to test their UX against a specific target persona, either using the company's "worldwide panel," setting up custom screeners, or bringing on the client's own users. Both qualitative and quantitative results start coming in within minutes. This platform includes the ability to flag certain information as sensitive (e.g., when demoing a site or app while using live data), blocking screen recording when such information is being accessed by the user.

Maze


Koncept


UserBrain

  • UserBrain provides videos of real people interacting with websites, offering an "outside-your-four-walls experience so you can spot issues you never even thought of." UserBrain offers a "worldwide pool of unbiased testers" to their clients, who provide screen capture videos and audio feedback as they attempt to navigate the site and complete given tasks from both laptops and portable devices. This pool of testers can be narrowed down by demographics and/or device as needed. Unlike some other options, UserBrain does not appear to test apps as well.

Userfeel

Userfeel "is a usability testing tool that gives you videos of real users speaking their thoughts as they use your website or app." The platform provides a panel of 70,000 testers who speak 40 languages between them, allowing multilingual testing across both desktops and mobile devices. In addition to video feedback, Userfeel grades the site or app on its System Usability Scale (SUS) and provides hard data that can be exported into usable reports.

Try My UI

Try My UI offers user testing for websites which provide both video feedback and quantitative data provided directly by the testers. This data is provided through and analyzed by the platform's Competative Analysis suite and UXCrowd products, which provide results and make it easy to pick key moments and findings with one's development team. It is possible to set up a test within minutes, and testers are made available through Try My UI.
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Competitors 1

The requested information for SoundingBox, UserInsight, and UserBob has been provided in both the attached project spreadsheet and below.

SoundingBox

HISTORY
SoundingBox was founded in 2016 by co-founders Steve Ellis and Tony Alongi as an offshoot of Change Sciences, a user testing and strategy firm. (Note that Crunchbase considers SoundingBox an app rather than a company, but this is in error.) In 2017, the company tried to draw attention by releasing its data on retail shopping experiences in its "Retail Resonance Index." Apart from this, there is little information about the company's history either on its website or in business media.
PRODUCTS
SoundingBox has three primary product lines:
  • A basic usability test, which sees how easily test users can perform given tasks on the site or app under consideration.
  • Experience^2, which helps developers to create more advanced tests, reduce bias in the testing, and perform prototype A/B and competitive testing.
  • The Journey Study, which includes a browser bar within the app to chronicle how test users use the product under development alongside other sites.
FUNDING
SoundingBox has not raised any independent capital and appears to be wholly funded by parent company Change Sciences, which itself has not taken outside investment in recent years.
CLAIMS
The claims of this platform are best described under its individual products / services above; apart from these, there is little about its claims that separate it from the competition.
TEAM
There are currently only three team members in SoundingBox:

UserInsight

HISTORY
One of the older UX testing companies, UserInsight (aka User Insight) was founded by Dr. John Morgan, Eric Holzclaw, and Kevin O'Connor in 2001 (some sources say 2002) as "a firm completely dedicated to customer research for businesses to unlock product and service potential." The company has continued to evolve since then, including developing its usability and user experience testing as described below. Over the last 15 years, the company has grown and become "a trusted partner for more than 75 Fortune 500 and Global 2000 companies." The company's most recent announcement is that they will shortly be moving their headquarters to another location in Atlanta, GA.
PRODUCTS
UserInsighst presents itself primarily as a consulting firm focused on UX and product testing. Their services include:
  • Applied insights
  • UX and usability testing on both PC and mobile
  • UX design and prototyping
  • Use of their own "state-of-the-art facility" and experts, which include onsite recruiting and a pool over 20,000 potential testers
  • A Concept Realization Center where clients can meet with their experts
  • Customer persona development & refinement and customer journey mapping
FUNDING
UserInsight is a well-established firm and we find no evidence that it has received funding in at least the past several years; in fact, it lacks even a Crunchbase profile.
CLAIMS
The claims of this platform are best described under its individual products / services above, with a couple of additional claims: In addition to noting that they have built relationships with over 75 of the largest companies in the world, UserInsight also claims, "40% of our clients leverage our iterative design and research process year round."
TEAM
  • Kevin O'Connor, President & CEO
  • Michele Hughes, Controller
  • Chris Boggs, Director of Operations
  • Alaina Beaver, Director of Accessibility Services
  • Jodi Daniels, Director of Privacy Advisory Services

UserBob

HISTORY
UserBob was founded in 2014 by John Weidner and an unnamed co-founder, possibly his own (at the time) teenage son. It has billed itself as an inexpensive alternative to other UX testing platforms, but has not gained any mainline news attention. Interestingly, the platformed developed out of Weidner's need to create a means to user-test his StudyStack site and liking the results enough that he began marketing it to others.
PRODUCTS
UserBob offers only one product / service, and that is having "average users from the United States" test a site while recording their screens and giving their unbiased, first-person reviews. However, this service is offered in three tiers:
  • First Impressions ($20) in which 20 users will provide 1 minute videos giving their first impressions of a site.
  • Task Completion ($25) in which 5 users will provide 5 minute videos as they attempt to complete a specified task.
  • Custom (variable), which allows the client to choose the number of testers, the length of the videos, the demographics of the testers, and other scenario- and task-related variables.
A similar range of services are available for mobile web, Android app and iOS app testing.
FUNDING
CLAIMS
The claims of this platform are best described under its individual products / services above; apart from these and the low price point, there is little about its claims that separate it from the competition.
TEAM
  • John Weidner is the proprietor and sole employee of UserBob, and continues to work as an Android developer at Museum of the Bible. He has also maintained the StudyStack educational website since 2002.

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Competitors 2

The requested information for Userlytics, Maze, and Koncept has been provided in both the attached project spreadsheet and below.

Userlytics

HISTORY
Userlytics is one of the oldest platforms for getting user UX feedback, having been founded in 2009 by Alejandro Rivas-Micoud. Userlytics was the "first UX research service to offer picture-in-picture (webcam view + screen and audio recording), skipping logic for qualitative unmoderated usability testing." It has since appeared in multiple lists of user testing tools, but has not otherwise been newsworthy in the American press.
PRODUCTS
Userlytics provides website, app, and prototype usability testing in addition to card sorting, tree testing, and branching logic, with prices that vary depending on the desired features:
  • DIY ($49/participant/15-minute increment) provides a platform for developers who have their own pool of participants.
  • Custom Project ($99/participant/30-minute increment) includes access to the account manager and Userlytics' pool of participants.
  • Enterprise ($60/participant/30-minute increment) also provides transcription, unlimited admin seats, and volume discounts which can lower the cost to as low as $34/participant.
FUNDING
Userlytics has not received VC funding.
CLAIMS
Userlytics markets itself on its longevity, experience, high-profile clients, and the range of state-of-the-art features that it provides its clients, including privacy protection, skipping logic, quantitative metrics, annotations and highlight reels. Apart from this, its claims are similar to others in this sector.
TEAM
While a complete list is not available, some key team members at Userlytics include:

Maze

HISTORY
Maze (or Maze.Design) was founded in 2018 by Jonathan Widawski and Thomas Mary, who shortly raised pre-seed VC funding (see below). Headquartered in Paris, France, the company has not been in the news since its pre-seed round, but has been heavily active in social media marketing on Twitter, LinkedIn, and, to a lesser extent, Facebook.
PRODUCTS
Maze has only a single eponymous product which purports to make "testing sessions as easy as 1, 2, 3!" Which is to say, the developer can
  • Create missions and collect metrics
  • Invite testers or recruit Maze's own panel of over 50,000 testers
  • Run the analysis and generate reports
FUNDING
Maze raised £350,000 in a pre-seed round on May 17, 2018 from the following investors:
  • Partech
  • Seedcamp
CLAIMS
The claims of this platform are best described under its individual products / services above. If they make a unique claim of their service, it is in how easy it is to use (particularly their "automagic" reporting) and that the product not only measures which testers completed a task via an expected path, but those which found an unexpected path to success.
TEAM
Maze at present has two key team members, the co-founders:
  • Jonathan Widawski, who also serves as CEO
  • Thomas Mary

In addition, Maze has hired at least six other individuals, primarily software engineers and UI experts.

Koncept

HISTORY
It is difficult to pin down when Koncept was founded (even their LinkedIn profile is extremely bare-bones), but their Twitter feed and blog indicate it opened in 2015, making that year likely. Since then, it does not seem to have engaged in marketing, social media or otherwise, but appears on several top usability tool lists and product profiles, suggesting that they have marketed well enough through word-of-mouth to have become reasonably well-known in this sector.
PRODUCTS
Koncept's provides two SaaS products, for which pricing is handled on a monthly subscription service (approximately $12/user/month):
  • A prototyping tool, which enables the creation of front-ends for websites and apps via a drag-and-drop editor. This enables testing of one's UX even before the product itself reaches the alpha phase.
  • Usability testing with remote users, from which Koncept can analyze the data and produce reports showing not only how many users successfully completed a given task and their average time, but heat maps of the screens to show how the users interacted with them.
FUNDING
Koncept has never received VC funding; in fact, it lacks even a Crunchbase profile.
CLAIMS
Koncept's prototyping tool (see above) is its most unique feature; apart from this, Koncept makes similar claims to other UX testing tools.
TEAM
Koncept does not publish their team members on their homepage, nor were we able to determine the team members from LinkedIn. We are uncertain why this information has been withheld from the public domain, and due to the large number of companies named Koncept, were unable to determine possible team members by other means (e.g., interviews).
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Competitors 3

The requested information for UserBrain, Userfeel, and Try My UI has been provided in both the attached project spreadsheet and below.

UserBrain

HISTORY
UserBrain originated in 2014 in Austria when its four founders, all UX developers at Simplease, decided to bring together their combined experience "in developing user-friendly products" to develop a testing platform for other UX developers. UserBrain's first major contracts were with Austrian-based companies like Red Bull, Kununu and BAWAG, but it has since expanded into the US market with customers like Tesla, Lush Cosmetics, Spotify and Virgin. In 2018, the company began focusing "on a major update of the platform, which includes the learnings from over 10,000 user tests."
PRODUCTS
UserBrain has only a single product: For an entry price of $69/month a client can pay $19 per user test, or else simply pay an ala cart price of $29 per user test. These tests last from 5-15 minutes each and the testers come from a pool of over 10,000 testers, which is currently growing at a rate of 700 per month, which can be selected by "language, region, gender, age and device type."
FUNDING
UserBrain has not received any VC funding and appears to have been funded out of the co-founders' personal financials.
CLAIMS
The claims of this platform are best described under its individual products / services above; apart from these, there is little about its claims that separate it from the competition.
TEAM
UserBrain's leadership team comprises the following:
  • Andreas Riedmüller, Co-founder
  • Stefan Rössler, Co-founder
  • Mathias Placho, Co-founder
  • Markus Pirker, Co-founder
Based on their LinkedIn profiles (example here), all four of these individuals are also key players at Simplease. In addition, they do not yet appear to have defined roles within UserBrain.

Userfeel

HISTORY
Userfeel, headquartered in Athens, Greece, was founded in 2010. The founder, Yannis Karampelas, built the platform because he saw a need for UX testing for Greek developers and users. "Since then, thousands of companies have chosen Userfeel as their tool for multilingual remote usability testing," including Rakuten, Office Depot, Serta, Lowe's, and Target, among others.
PRODUCTS
Userfeel provides two primary services:
  • Remote user testing, which costs $59.00 per user session (aka "1 credit"), which is available at a discount if user sessions are purchased in bulk.
  • Access to Userfeel's team of "UX Researchers, UI Designers and UI Developers," who "can help with any UX/UI task," from setting up robust user tests, to long-term research and road-mapping, to help in analyzing the results of user testing and conducting reviews.
FUNDING
Userfeel has not drawn any VC funding.
CLAIMS
The claims of this platform are best described under its individual products / services above; apart from these, there is little about its claims that separate it from the competition apart from the company's emphasis that they can provide "multilingual user testing," though this is far from a unique claim.
TEAM
Userfeel's team page is very unusual in that most of the staff is introduced with only a first name and a picture, e.g., the CEO & Founder is introduced simply as "Yannis," though the text above identifies him more fully:
Yannis appears to be the only c-lister in the company thus far with "manager" being the next highest title. Neither Crunchbase nor a search of employees of Userfeel on LinkedIn provided any additional information about any of the leadership team; in fact, LinkedIn's profiles of Userfeel employees resulted almost entirely of testers.

TryMyUI

HISTORY
TryMyUI, headquartered in San Francisco, CA, was founded in 2010 by Ritvij Gautam and Vivek Bhaskaran. Gautam initially served as the CEO but this role shifted to Bhaskaran in 2016 for reasons unknown. Since then, the company has received positive writeups in publications as diverse as Marketade and the Huffington Post, with the latter humorously describing the company's mission to "kill wild HiPPOs" ("Highest Paid Person's Opinion") in favor of objective testing.
PRODUCTS
The only product that TryMyUI provides is user testing, which it offers at three tiers:
  • Personal ($35/user test), a pay-as-you-go model that comes with up to 20 minutes of feedback.
  • Team ($299/month), which comes with 10 free tests per month, collaborative and crowdsourced analysis, and qualitative SUS and SEQ analysis
  • Enterprise ($1500/month), which comes with 30+ free, extended (30-60 minute), user tests per month and all the analytic tools of the Team option.
FUNDING
TryMyUI has not received any VC funding.
CLAIMS
The claims of this platform are best described under its individual products / services above; apart from these, there is little about its claims that separate it from the competition.
TEAM
There are only two members of TryMyUI's membership team who can be identified:
  • Vivek Bhaskaran, Founder & CEO, who is also a Founder & CEO for QuestionPro and a Chairman and/or board member at IdeaScale, LanderApp, and Survey Analytics.
  • Ritvij Gautam, co-founder and guest lecturer at San Jose State University. Gautam functioned as the CEO until 2016; we are uncertain as to the reason for the shift in role.
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PlaybookUX Competitive Analysis Presentation

The full competitive analysis, including PlaybookUX's full profile, as well as an analysis of its competitors (SoundingBox, UserInsight, UserBob, Userlytics, Maze, Koncept, UserBrain, Userfeel, and Try My UI) has been compiled in the attached presentation. PlaybookUX provides user feedback for concepts, prototypes, websites, and products with video feedback and one-on-one interviews with the participants.

PlaybookUX competitive analysis presentation

  • The full data from the competitive analysis for PlaybookUX and its competitors (SoundingBox, UserInsight, UserBob, Userlytics, Maze, Koncept, UserBrain, Userfeel, and Try My UI) which has previously been compiled in this spreadsheet, has been summarized in the attached presentation. 
  • PlaybookUX provides user feedback for concepts, prototypes, websites, and products with video feedback and one-on-one interviews with the participants. The company's software enables the recruitment of a pool of product testers, which can include both targeted demographics for B2C products and those employed in specific industries for B2B products.
Sources
Sources