Usability testing can go a long way to improving the experiences of users. And a positive experience is what you want for anyone that visits your site, right? Learn how you can create a great one for those that visit your website.
What is usability testing?
Usability testing is basically ensuring that your widget/whatchamacallit/thingie works the way you want to work for the person that needs to use your widget/whatchamacallit/thingie. Since we are primarily focused on all things bloggity and websites around here, we are talking about your site’s usability for your ideal audience.
When you (or your designer) created your site, accessibility was considered during the process. Designing for accessibility can pay off by making your site user-friendly. Want to learn more about accessibility? Check out this post!
What do you need to be tested? Do you want to have your whole site explored, a landing page or a sales page? Think about the user’s experience with your site. We’ll use a sales page as an example for the rest of the post. Without having a clear idea of what you want to be tested out, the tester will not know where to focus their attention, and any feedback might not address your concerns.
The key part of usability testing is the testers. Ideally, you would like to have your target audience be the tester of your site or the page you would like to be reviewed for functionality. At a minimum, you will need two people to serve as your usability testers. However, you do not need to go wild and get 100 people to do it. You will quickly know what issues exist with just 2-5 testers.
The usability testing task
Once you know what you want to test and have people who will complete the test, you need to create the usability testing tasks. This could be broad or structured. Our example was testing a new sales page, so the task could be for them to “buy” a product or service you sell. They will go through the buying experience on your new sales page.
The goal, check. Testers, check. Usability testing task, check. Now what? You need a way to capture the feedback. You can ask open-ended questions, such as “what was the biggest challenge you had buying _____ from the website?” Avoid just having just yes/no type questions, you will not get the detailed information you need to make any needed improvements.
Let’s do it!
Now that you have all the pieces of the process, it is time to perform the usability testing! If possible, observe the testing. This will help give you insights that the tester may not self-report. After the testing and gathering feedback, it is time for the really important element, analyze the feedback and determine what improvements you need to make to improve your site. Once you have made the improvements, you can re-run the usability test if there is a significant issue or just make the changes without re-testing.
Ready to take the next step?
A pretty website doesn’t mean it is a usable website. Performing occasional usability testing will help you improve the functionality of your site. This can lead to happier users, which can lead to happier customers! Need help making improvements to your website? We can help! Comment below or drop us a line.