Website usability testing is one of the most significant aspects of building and launching a new website these days. Especially when a user is likely to abandon your website due to the lack of user experience, it is necessary that your website should offer the most pleasing and easy-to-navigate interface to your users.
Popularly known as UX testing, the process is meant to check the ease of use on your website while ensuring consistency across different platforms and devices. Usability testing involves observing real-time interactions of the users with a newly launched or almost ready-to-launch product in order to identify any issues that might hamper the objectives of users.
At times, the developers with love for certain features tend to leave the UX gaps while it can also happen at the designer’s end, who, while experimenting with uniqueness, forgets to meet the usability requirements. In both situations, you can simply approach some usability testing services to help you craft a website that can serve the best to the users without compromising on UX grounds.
Let us quickly dig in and understand the benefits and types of usability testing. It will explore the entire process of analyzing your website for usability pitfalls:
Since usability testing reveal UX issues for easy fixes, it can help development giants and website testing companies to save on time and resources. The process usually begins at the earliest stages of prototyping as it becomes more convenient to work on iterations that can upgrade UX with every cycle. Some of the most significant benefits of usability testing are:
- To create products that meet user expectations
- Early detection of UX inconsistencies
- Collect unbiased feedback on the build
- It prevents any risk of building wrong products .
- Keep all stakeholders in harmony with the product research data, change requirements, and user goals.
When it is about outcomes, the benefits you yield with your UX testing initiatives depend on the method you choose for running usability tests. It can either be Moderated, Exploratory, Unmoderated, or Guerilla testing.
Each of these techniques varies for their approach as moderated calls for structured sessions, exploratory for open-ended sessions, unmoderated for unsupervised tests. At the same time, guerilla testing works on an impromptu approach.
With all the information understanding the basics of usability testing, it’s time to jump on learning how performing early analysis could help you avoid usability pitfalls.
How To Perform Usability Testing?
It is very likely for the users to have a question about which method is best when you need to run UX tests. However, most development companies and usability testing services focus on moderated usability testing when needed to run UX checks. The moderated usability testing approach helps to have the deepest insights into the given system while allowing space for observing the user’s body language and encourage follow-up questions. Let’s find out how it works.
Step 1: Plan Tests
The first step to usability testing works with planning the entire agenda for testing. In the case of moderated testing, it is necessary that a proper lab setting is there to perform UX tests. It might involve working on areas to run tests and defining elements to run tests. Also, the process aims at recruiting test teams, organize test sessions, and identify metrics to success.
On top of that, the planning phase even needs you to define the scope of testing based on the objectives of your project. Also, the test teams usually work on the planning phase writing test scripts that are based on product background.
Step 2: Define Users
The next big step that work after planning is defining the users for the test process. Most of the time, these users vary demographics such as age, gender, income scope, and experience dealing with similar applications. As per the NN Group, the optimal number of participants for track 85 percent of errors is 5. This means having a user group of 12 to 15 people can help you reveal almost 100 percent of issues.
One thing that you need to ensure on your way to define users is to find your testers. For this, you may ask random people to help you. Since the purpose of usability testing is to identify potential problems in real-world use. It must always be conducted by real-world users only.
Step 3: Host Tests
Now, this is the most important step to take control. Therefore, testers must feel comfortable with the setup and feel easy to take on your test plan. This step needs you to provide clear instructions to the testers. Moreover, you can try to share the goals with them while resisting revealing the path to achieve them. The test process should be uninterrupted, and your testers should not be guided with any advice or conclusions.
Remember, the role of test teams in usability testing is only to listen and observe the user behavior. You should rather tell testers their actions loud for easy recording of any negative and positive feedback.
Once done with the tests, you can try to collect quantitative and qualitative data on the product. For instance, the user’s thoughts on the product, ease of use, likes & dislikes, suggested changes, and feedback on the competitor’s product compared to yours.
Step 4: Data Analysis
Once you are done with the tests, the next step that you need to take is to analyze the information collected. Make sure you highlight all the significant insights that you have developed from the tests.
You can either create excel sheets and make different sections like usability, visuals, and other factors. Besides, you can ask the users to rate the website for different operations they run on the website, such as login, payments, etc.
Furthermore, you can review all this data, user notes, and recordings (if any) to identify any unexpected actions. You can group all the information derived from the process. You can also explore the qualitative metrics while making your way to overcome all.
Step 5: Develop Test Reports
To develop a descriptive and easy-to-work report, you must create a summary of all the objectives, features, and issues.
Also, you can create a sheet for each of the test participants involved in website usability testing. It can help in implementing different methodologies to analyze the responses. You can accommodate all the positive and negative results in tests while considering the recommendations made on the existing system.
All the information should be discussed during in-person meetings with your team. As it will help you find the most viable solutions for your website usability goals.
Concluding it all, we all have our own set of perspectives towards things. And usability testing is all about gathering different people to understand their thought processes, the problems they face, and the solutions they seek.
More importantly, when you create a universal product such as a website that can work for all varying perspectives. Usability testing works as the key to prevent slipping of any UX errors. And we hope the above guide will help you run your next website usability testing initiatives with much greater ease.