Five Second Test

I just found this little site:

Web designers submit images of their site mockups. Users then come to the Five Seconds Test website and select a test to take. The image of your website layout flashes on their screen for 5 seconds, and then the user completes one of the following tasks depending on which type of test they are taking:

  • Classic: users are asked to list things that they remember after viewing your interface
  • Compare: users see two versions of your interface and specify their preference
  • Sentiment: users are asked to list their most and least favorite things about your interface

I took a couple of the tests and found that it was quite fun to be a tester. Maybe that’s just because I really like looking at and analyzing UIs, but the fast paced-nature and simple feedback form makes it rather absorbing. I felt like I wanted to just review website after website, rather than having to keep clicking the “do a random test” button!

Getting users to come to and continue to participate in the tests must be one of FST’s challenges. Without a certain continuous flow of testers, people submitting designs will get little out of the service since this sort of limited feedback really needs to be available in larger amounts in order to gain useful recommendatiosn from it. Although this seems to be a pet project right now, I think this has a lot of potential as a method for quick usability tests & uniting a webdesign community. I’m sure there must be websites out there that are dedicated to users sharing their interfaces and receiving feedback from the community, but the FST feels different because it blends a sense of low commitment with promise of high reward. For quick design iterations, the FST might be all that you need if you’re looking for the impressions of many, rather than the detailed analyzations of a few. It would be great to see the FST creators, mayhem(method), try to build up some community around this, or for an existing online design community to adopt a similar type of test.