A prolific website and application developer, Ideator John Weidner knows the value of receiving feedback from potential users during the development process. What he doesn’t like is the high cost of videos from website testing vendors, and the fact that many of the videos are too long, which dilutes their value.

“Companies that provide these types of services often offer a free trial user testing video, but their full-service videos tend to be too expensive and too long,” said Weidner. “Twenty-minute videos of someone using my website doesn’t help when I’m struggling to get people to spend more than a minute on it.”

As he thought about how to get more useful feedback at a price that fit his budget, Weidner, who is also involved with another Ideator project, Admit Hero, came up with the idea for UserBob. This handy app offers a fast, easy way for developers to create their own videos of users testing their website or app so they can get the feedback they need at more affordable prices.

What’s the Problem?

User feedback is critical to developers building websites and apps. However, most user testing services cost too much for most small businesses or startups. Plus, they often require users to complete tasks that take 15 minutes or more to complete, which is often more than users are willing to invest to determine if a website or application solves their problem.

What’s the Big Idea?

UserBob provides a faster, cheaper way ($1 per requested minute of testing) for developers to record users testing their apps or websites. The program uses Amazon’s Mechanical Turk service to visually record users interacting with the website while they talk about the pros and cons of the site. Designers and developers can then review the videos to see where users are having trouble and look for ways to make improvements.

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Where Is It Headed?

For now, Weidner’s goal is to provide affordable user testing services that enable startups to build products with great user experiences. When those startups become more successful, he plans to provide more advanced services to help developers broaden the scope and enhance the value of their products.

Weidner’s biggest challenge to date has been finding new customers, which has required spending more than anticipated for marketing. To keep UserBob growing at a steady pace within his limited budget, he’s working to build a presence on popular websites like reddit, quora, and several slack groups.

In the meantime, Weidner continues to derive value in many different ways from his participation on Ideator.

“I like Ideator because it helps me stay focused,” he said. “I use the goal setting feature to break goals down into more manageable tasks, and to see how I’m progressing against them. I also like the contests because they provide extra motivation to get things done.”

Weidner would like to hear from Ideators who have good ideas, tips or suggestions to enhance his marketing efforts. He also invites anyone interested to learn more about UserBob to visit the website and try the free offer at

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