Mobile Usability Testing Tip: Recording from Two Webcams

Note: This post is over 4 years old. It was first published in October 2010

Off the shelf mobile usability testing kit is ridiculously expensive. I’ve previously I’ve written about cheap ways to make usability testing “sleds” for your mobile devices. One of the simplest solutions was suggested by New Zealand-based UX expert Nick Bowmast, who recommends using a rectangular piece of acrylic, bent to shape over a household toaster, as shown below:


Image credit: Nick Bowmast.

So, the question is, how can you simultaneously record footage from the device camera with picture-in-picture footage of the user’s face from another camera – without spending a fortune?

I didn’t have an answer for that until I saw Belén Barros Pena and Bernard Tyers’ EuroIA presentation. They recommend using a $19 app called AMCap allows you to view two webcams simultaneously on your PC’s screen. You can then use any screen recording app (e.g. Camstudio) to capture your screen and audio to a video file.


Image credit: Belén Barros Pena and Bernard Tyers.

Admittedly, it’s not a beautiful solution, but it’s quick, cheap and effective. One for the Guerilla Mobile Usability Testing handbook!

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