What is website usability testing?
Website usability testing is the process of thoroughly testing a website, with actual users to help make the website easier to use.
Some general usability guidelines are:
- Make links blue and underlined.
- Use bullets for lists.
- Put the navigation on the left
- Have your page headings match the navigation item EXACTLY.
But following usability guidelines is only half the picture!
The other half, we have come to realize, is the actual user testing that must be performed on your website. That's where you'll learn even more about how your website really works.
For example, when working on a major bank's application form, the term "receiving financial institution" was identified as a problem area. It turned out that users weren't sure what to enter here. A bank account number? A retirement account number? Their current account number? It turns out that the term "receiving financial institution" was used internally throughout the company, so none of the designers identified it as a problem.
Early on in the testing, we were able to identify it as a problem area, and were able to recommend a solution. In this example, it turned out that all they really needed was their existing bank account number. So the end result was that the wording was changed. No longer was this a stumbling point on the application process.
After implementing this change and other changes, the application rates dramatically increased! No amount of guessing by the designers would ever have attainted this same result. There would have not been a way to find this out without doing usability testing!
Hire RedMagic to perform usability testing on your site!
Scott Henderson has received extensive training from Bentley College, located in Boston, Ma. He completed their "Usability Boot Camp". In addition, he has performed numerous usability studies - from one page overviews to entire site redesigns.
We'd love to talk to you about how we can make your website easier to use through usability testing.
For just $99 we can prepare a usability report discussing elements of your site that don't adhere to usability guidelines (we'll tell you what you're doing right too!) Then we can discuss what the next steps are.
Full usability testing rates can vary from $300 - $10,000 depending on the scale of your project. But, as you can see from the example above, running a proper usability test can dramatically increase your response rates!