Usability testing using open source tools

Anyone conducting usability testing (e.g. watching users navigate a software product and taking notes) using Open Source tools?

I saw an interesting description of using OBS Studio + infowriter plugin (cross platform) + nohboard plugin (windows only), which allows watching a user from multiple cameras, recording their key presses, and easily storing events with timestamps at given times (like flagging a problem or success). I believe it should work both locally (looking over the user’s shoulder, recording for reference), as well as remotely (giving instructions and streaming + recording the results).

That stack is all Open Source. See:

I tested it locally without the plugins and it was easy to use. I’d be interested to hear if others have used this.


Back when writing on Usability testing in free & open source software I used the screen+webcam recorder Pongo which unfortunately is discontinued.
There’s Kazam which hasn’t been developed since 2014 but seems to work fine – doing simple screen recording + webcam picture in picture.

A full OBS Studio setup I would consider a bit much. Generally recording and noting next to it is enough. Ideal is having 2 people – one moderator and one who writes protocol. But if you are alone, then it’s fine to just note the timestamps or maybe have some sort of signs for various issues.

I’m sure that @Renata @jdittrich @ei8fdb @bumbleblue and others have more input on usability testing setups though! :slight_smile: