Hack a document camera into a mobile testing camera and sled
We’ve tried several mobile phone sleds and have been disappointed by cameras that don’t swivel or turn to fit the view of the participant’s fingers and screen. This winter, we hacked a Ziggi HD Document Camera into a cheap, effective and user-friendly usability test camera and sled. This 8.0-megapixel camera has a built-in microphone and a swivel head on a two-hinge neck. Coupled with iPevo Presenter software, it’s our ideal camera, mic and phone sled solution for running mobile usability test sessions. Super portable to for guerrilla usability testing anywhere anytime – all you need is the laptop and the Ziggi.
Do it yourself: Lighten the base and flip
The starting point: the camera stands on a heavy base. We’ll lighten the base & flip it over.
Peel back the corners of the no-slip cover on the underside of the camera’s base to reveal the screws for the base plate. There may also be one in the center, use a craft knife to cut a half-moon into the foam cover to access that screw.
Remove the lead weights from inside the base, screw the cover back on, fold back the no-slip cover.
Flip the base over so the no-slip makes a no-slip sled for the participant’s phone. The sled and camera are very light, and can be easily picked up and held by the participant or placed on a table, allowing for increased comfort for the participant.
The microphone picks up the audio from the participant, facilitator and from the phone itself (great for testing accessibility of your app or site with blind or low vision users who use iPhones with VoiceOver). We use Camtasia to record the session screen and audio – make sure to select the camera microphone when you record the session.
The camera and sled solution is a great price – we found Ziggi HD’s at Amazon.ca for only $180 CAD (beware – there are lots of higher prices posted!). If you have any questions about this hack or need help or ideas for setting up mobile testing, get in touch.