Today I'm reviewing several screen-sharing apps to conduct some remote usability testing. These particular tests have some interesting constraints:
- My subjects are parent-volunteered kids, 8-16 years old and all in the same family
- I'm on a mac, they're on PCs
- Tests should be about 45 minutes long
- If possible, I should be able to take over the screen to type in URLs
I tested on the following hardware
- Presenter: Windows XP with 1920 x 1200 resolution
- Client: Macbook pro running Leopard
Pretty good, but not quite good enough for usability testing.
- Marginal refresh rate (I foresee missing some important clicks and mouse wandering)
- Requires registration of host and client for optimal use
- Very easy transfer of control to attendee
- Nicely integrated chat notifications (for passing URLs, for example)
Pretty much pure awesomeness after looking at all the other apps.
- Not so free (free for evaluation, $39/mo or around $650 for full license)
- Awesomely spectacular refresh rate
- Transfer of screen control is more difficult than with Yuuguu, but not bad
- Presenter can run a small executable without having to install anything
- No account is needed on either side, however the presenter has to type in a 9-digit code plus 4-digit password to connect.
Very simple interface, but didn't quite cut the mustard. The Mac version has a permanently disabled 'preferences' menu item, indicating it's probably in beta whether they say so or not.
- Uber-simple interface
- Extremely crappy refreshing, probably totally unusable for a usability test
- Registration needed by host, but not client
Not too bad, except for that refresh rate. Darn you, TeamViewer, you've spoiled me!
- Surprisingly works for a mac
- No installation required
- No accounts required, just pass a (long) code (and don't forget to type the dash)
- Fairly dismal refresh rate
- Rather obscure interface (screen sharing button is a black box in a gray box in a another gray box)
I *maybe* should have been wary of the playful doggy-centric identity, but I gave it a go anyway. Apparently you have to configure your router and firewall to get it to work. I don't think I'm going to start a usability test with a router configuration. No sir.
Pretty cool stuff, especially the 3D conference room motif </toungeincheek>.
- Free for 1-to-1 meetings
- Web-based, you just need to pass a code. You might need to install some Java though, which could really hang things up in a usability test.
- Absolutely the worst refresh rate of all the apps
- Setting permissions for different attendees is pretty nifty
- Lots of features, like voice and webcam sharing
- Did I mention the horrible refresh rate?
I guess we'll be using TeamAssist tomorrow on an evaluation basis. The other apps just don't compare in terms of refresh rate.
http://webtoolsandtips.com/freeware/screen-sharing-remote-access-web-tools/ - Good leads on several apps
http://www.masternewmedia.org/screen-share-top-25-best-screen-sharing-tools/ - Good list, not entirely accurate