Do you periodically run promotions, arrange discounts and use other marketing tools, but customers do not stay on the site? It’s time to watch your customers and find out what is causing the low sales. Quite often, the problem lies in usability. Simply put the resource inconvenient, it does not inspire trust, and navigation through it is associated with great difficulties.
What results can you achieve with website usability testing?
First of all, the influx of new users or customers. High-quality usability testing with the subsequent elimination of the identified shortcomings allows you to instantly get a positive result!
There are many ways to lure a customer to your website, including by offering a great discount. But this is only half the battle, it is still necessary to force him to place an order. Users easily leave the resource as soon as something becomes incomprehensible to them.
Varieties of usability testing
Depending on the goals set. The following types of research are distinguished:
The goal is to find out which of the implemented design elements are not working, and which are really beneficial and contribute to improving usability. Test result – recommendations that will help make the web resource as convenient and attractive as possible for the end user.
The goal is to get a ton of statistics and then use them to improve usability. Quite an expensive procedure, it is used only in cases. Where you need to understand specific reasons why a product or service is selling worse than a competitor.
The goal is to make head-to-head comparisons with more successful competitors in the niche. This is one of the most important and effective methods to avoid repeating other people’s mistakes of usability.
The goal is to adapt a foreign product for a American buyer, or vice versa.
The goal is to look at the scenarios of the behavior of visitors on the site and assess the performance of the resource with the involvement of real people. This usability testing technology allows you to see how well users perform specific tasks and what problems they face in doing so.
Eye tracking testing
The goal is to evaluate the effectiveness of the location and visibility of the site blocks. It is carried out using the special device that assesses where and how long the user is looking.
The goal is to understand the behavior on the site of typical representatives of various target groups and, based on the knowledge gained about their preferences, satisfy the widest group of users.
The goal is to identify user interface flaws and make recommendations based on research and well-established web design guidelines. Website testing is carried out by experts. In the field of usability and marketing.
A / B testing
The goal is to offer users multiple design options and compare responses. Sequential and parallel A / B tests are distinguished. With sequential testing of usability, edits are immediately made to the site and the periods before and after the changes are measured. In parallel, several versions are made, which are compared with the main one.
All of the above testing methods in one way or another affect the improvement of usability, but the Demis Group company, based on its extensive experience, uses two directions:
- usability assessment;
- comparison with competing sites.
Preparing for usability testing and getting a report
Preparation consists of 4 main stages:
1. Formation of hypotheses
Experts who already know the problem areas of usability put forward hypotheses containing instructions for qualitatively improving the design. It will be possible to find out whether they will be effective only after all the work has been carried out.
2. Defining metrics for testing.
For each of the hypotheses, a tool is selected that will help to obtain an expert assessment of the work performed in order to improve usability.
3. Definition of the character and script
A script is a set of instructions that, if followed, will test all problem areas of usability as efficiently as possible. A character is a collective image, which, in terms of a number of parameters, must correspond to the average buyer.
4. Selection of respondents for testing.
A group of people selected who are as similar as possible to the character in terms of description.
How to select respondents for usability testing?
The respondents selected by sex, age, social status, position and interests. At the same time, in order to analyze the behavior of new users, it is necessary that they did not visit the web resource earlier. In the case of a narrowly focused business and a specific target audience, people who understand the topic are chosen. Thanks to this, the conclusions obtained will be as correct as possible. If the web resource offers consumer goods and services, almost any user will do. A questionnaire with questions will help to select respondents who are similar to characters.
For the procedure, 3-5 people are enough. The respondents must consistently follow the path of the character through the site according to a previously prepared script. It is compiled on the basis of typical tasks that visitors to the resource solve. As they walk the path, respondents leave comments with impressions. Video and audio recording of actions is being conducted. This makes it possible to assess how successfully users completed the tasks, and how long it took.
How to create a scenario for respondents?
To create a user scenario, it is important to understand 3 things:
- What tasks do the visitors of the analyzed web resource solve? For example, for clients of a hairdressing salon, this will be an appointment for a haircut, hair coloring, etc.
- What difficulties users may have when solving problems. For example, the site has an incomprehensible menu, mandatory registration, an inconvenient form of registration with the master, etc.
- What problems have users already faced. Perhaps they wrote about this to the support service.
Here are two options for the task as an example:
- Vacation is approaching from September 10 to 17. You are flying together. The husband wants the hotel to be located near the sea, while the wife wants the internet and service. Choose a hotel in Italy to keep everyone happy and book it for the week from September 10-17.
- Book a room in a hotel in Italy.
The first description is correct. The task should describe a real situation in which a site visitor may find himself, and contain certain conditions and restrictions. But it shouldn’t contain prompts and look like step-by-step instructions. For example, you don’t need to write like this: “Go to the main page and order a call back by clicking on the button in the upper right corner”.
Conducting usability testing of the site
The procedure consists of two stages.
- Usability test. It requires a computer with a webcam and Eye Tracking software to record users’ eye movements. The program takes into account all actions that occur on the screen: moving the cursor, using the keyboard, transitions between tabs. It is important to write down the timecodes of the assignments so that you can navigate faster in a long video.
- Survey of respondents. After the test, users will asked what they expected to see, what they thought at one point or another during the task. Sometimes, during the survey, hypotheses appear about problems on the web resource and ways to change the interface. You can check the assumptions next time.
Analysis of usability test results
Check the problems that need to be addressed first. They can be identified by how many respondents discovered the error and how critical it is. Customer opinion should not be taken as direct instruction for action. Analysis should help you see the problem. If the test taker found an error, this does not mean that it needs to be corrected immediately.
The analysis of the result a list of tasks have created to improve the site. Add tips to the registration form, highlight the purchase button, etc. The number of checks depends on the goals and budget of the owner of the web resource.
Usability testing helps improve your website and increase conversions. But in order to avoid critical errors before the audit, it is advisable to immediately create a user-friendly resource. The principles of usability specialist Nicole Botello will help with this.