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Website Usability Testing: Everything You Need to Know About It

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This tutorial has everything that you need to make your website user-friendly.

Are you planning to design a new website?

First, then, you must keep a few things in your mind:

  • 76% of consumers leave a brand after one bad experience.
  • 1 in 2 people leaves a website when it takes more than 6 seconds to load.
  • 53% of mobile web searches are abandoned if they take at most 3 seconds to load.

So, the bottom line is when building a new website, pay attention to its load time, responsiveness, attractiveness, and other usability factors.

And how can I do that?

Simply by running various website usability testing techniques on your website.

Do you know what website usability testing is, how to test your website usability, etc? No!

Then, hold your horses and scroll down to learn about website usability testing.

What is Meant by Usability Testing?

Usability means how easy your system (website, in our case) is to use.

It comprises several factors such as errors, efficiency, learnability, etc.

Usability testing is a method adopted to examine the website by running it through real users.

A usability test is set up based on specific scenarios where a person will perform different activities on your site.

For example, observing how a user performs a common task on your websites, like navigating through different pages or loading images.

It helps you understand how your website interacts with other users.

How Do You Test Usability?

You can use different usability tests to measure your site’s usefulness based on your objectives.

However, the three main categories to test web usability are:

  • Explorative: The first usability testing stage is to examine your website’s preliminary design. It helps you get the conceptual understanding and users’ initial opinions before making your website live.
  • Assessment: It is in midway testing to determine the real-time user experience. The purpose of usability assessment is to understand user satisfaction and effectiveness.
  • Comparison: The final usability testing stage helps you compare your website with your competitors. It shows your website’s strengths and weaknesses. This test is important to gain a competitive edge.

What Are the Website Usability Testing Benefits?

Website usability analysis is a perfect tool for developers, designers, and marketers to detect common web errors.

It allows product managers to develop flawless solutions to enhance user experience.

Apart from that, usability testing can also benefit to:

Identify Common Website Errors

While developing a multiple-page website, some minor errors, like broken links, and grammatical errors, often remain unnoticed.

When fresh pairs of eyes analyze your website, they can better find common bugs in WordPress functionality.

It enables you to detect potential website errors before your users.

It will protect your brand’s reputation and credibility.

Validate Your Website’s Layout

Running usability tests during the website development stage can help you detect errors and validate your concept.

You can better understand which website theme, design elements, and other components are more appealing to your potential users.

It can prevent you from redesigning your website for a long time.

Meet Your Customers’ Expectations

Testing can help you create a website according to your potential customers’ expectations.

You can add the right visuals, content, and other elements to make a simpler user experience.

Creating a website according to your customers’ tastes is a guaranteed recipe for success.

Simplify Complex Flows

When your site is ready, you can ask other people to identify complex processes.

Suppose most users find that your checkout process is complicated.

In that case, you can simplify your checkout process to improve your sales.

Gain Multiple Perspectives

When developing a website or software, your perspective is limited to your experience and knowledge.

But, your solution is for diverse users who might have a different perspective than yours.

In that case, usability testing can help you gain perspective from different people.

For example, it can show how people from diverse cultural and professional groups react to your website.

It can help marketing teams to create an engaging and revenue-generating website.

What Are Different Website Usability Test Types?

Developers and designers have several options for conducting usability tests on their websites.

Here are some of the leading website usability test types:

  • Unmoderated testing. It is a testing session where participants perform tests alone without the presence of any moderator. It is the fastest and cheapest mode of collecting web usability data. This method is practical when you want to collect data from many users.
  • Moderated testing. Under this testing, a moderator observes and guides participants throughout the testing process. It is a one-on-one test that helps developers understand users’ pain points and challenges while navigating the website.
  • A/B testing. Web designers often conduct A/B testing to observe users’ viewpoints on two or more design layout variations. For example, designers can create two website themes and ask users to vote for the theme they like the most. It can help you improve user experience.
  • Guerrilla testing. It is a random test. Test conductors pick random people from the public to perform a test for a small incentive. It helps to get unbiased opinions from people who are not related to your product in any way.
  • Lab testing. This test is like giving an exam. All participants are put in a lab or place with a computer or mobile device to perform a certain test. Moderators observe the entire process and give certain guidelines to complete the test. They also ask spontaneous questions during the tests to obtain the desired output.
  • Card sorting. It is a testing process where participants demonstrate how your website should look in terms of navigation and layout. You can provide participants with different cards, like how your content should look or a navigation system. It can help you create websites according to your targeted customers’ preferences.
  • Tree testing. It is also known as reverse card sorting. Participants are given certain cards to organize them into particular categories. They also have to tell why they have organized cards in a certain way. It provides deeper insight into participants’ perceptions of your website’s structure and performance.
  • 5-second testing. The first impression is always the last impression. So, you can collect qualitative data using the five-second test. As the name suggests, users will tell how they like your website design within the first five seconds. It is a fast and easy way to connect user data.

How to Conduct Your Website Usability Testing?

Now that you know website usability testing benefits and methods let’s see how you can conduct different usability tests on your website.

Following these steps, you can easily improve your website performance and engagement rate:

Step 1. Define Your Goals

First, you must define why you are running usability tests on your website.

What do you want to achieve through this test?

Do you want to improve user experience? For example, do you wish to improve web load time?

Or, you have an entirely different goal to run a performance test on your website.

Suppose you want to create an easy buying process for your customers.

In that case, you must test the process of ordering something from your website – from visiting your product pages to checkout pages.

We also advise readers to run one test at a time. It can help you focus on specific aspects of your website.

Step 2. Pick the Suitable Testing Technique

After determining testing goals, you can select the suitable test technique.

You must also consider the resources you already have to run tests.

For example, if you wish to run a controlled test, take an in-house approach is the website.

On the other hand, if you want to obtain fast results in a shorter time, remote testing can help you achieve the best results.

Step 3. Set Up a Mock Situation

Now you need to create a mock situation to run a test on your website.

For example, to test how your website can perform under heavy traffic, set up an environment where several global users can visit your website at the same time.

Creating a mock situation can help you understand how your site might behave when specific problems arise.

It can help you devise an appropriate solution for such a situation.

Step 4. Select Your Test Participants

Users participating in your website usability test are crucial to determine its success.

If participants are irrelevant to your targeted audience, your test results will not provide you with an accurate picture.

Thus, you must select your test participants after total consideration. In general, 6 to 10 people can run tests on your site.

But, the numbers can vary depending upon your testing goals.

The best way to find the best participants for usability testing is to create a user persona.

It is a fictional character of your ideal users.

Suppose you want to test how you want websites to run on different mobile operating systems.

In that case, you can select participants with different mobile devices, like one with Android mobile and another with iOS.

Step 5. Conduct the Test

After defining your website usability testing goals, techniques and participants, you can start the actual testing process.

You must monitor the testing process closely to ensure everything runs per your expectations.

But, of course, there is always a chance that something might go against your expectations, so be prepared to deal with uncertainties.

You can also hire professional developers or QA testers to help you with the usability testing process.

Step 6. Compile Your Results

The final and most important step is to compile all your test results. It can provide the actual picture of your usability test.

It depends upon which test method you have used to compose your test reports.

For example, if you have used interviews, a simple Excel format is perfect for compiling your results.

On the other hand, if you have conducted technical tests like the website speed test, you need to store your results in a different manner.

Moreover, most website analytical software comes with a reporting feature.

The software can generate auto-reports based on your tests.

What Are the Best Website Usability Testing Tools?

Using the website analytical tools, you can perform various tests on your website’s speed, performance, and other areas.

Many great analytical tools are available in the market today, but some of the best tools are:

  • Maze is a powerful quantitative and qualitative data-collecting platform. It provides you with constant data to improve your user experience. You can conduct various usability tests with this software, like card sorting, A/B testing, etc.
  • Lookback is the best web analytics software to conduct remote testing. It allows you to record users’ screens to analyze test results in real time. You can conduct both moderated and unmoderated remote tests using this software.
  • UserTesting is the perfect software to improve your website user experience.
  • It has several features that enable you to communicate with your potential customers in real time.

Other Helpful Tutorials

We have some other helpful tutorials to assist you in testing and improving the usability of your website:

  • How to Optimize WordPress for Performance: You can use this tutorial to optimize your WordPress website performance to improve your search engine ranking and user experience.
  • How to Submit a Website to Search Engines: Do you want to index your website on search engine rankings? This guide can help you to submit your website to search engines for easy discovery on the web.
  • How to Launch a WordPress Site: If you want to launch a new WordPress website to attract more customers, this tutorial can help you develop a user-friendly WordPress website in no time.

Let’s Start Testing Now!

Usability testing is the most crucial part of website development.

But unfortunately, only a few web developers or website owners pay attention to this part.

As a result, they need help attracting and retaining users on their website.

So, don’t make this mistake and run multiple website usability on your site during different development processes.

There is no need to run all the different usability tests at once.

Instead, take your time and run a usability test based on your current objectives.

Moreover, make testing a constant part of your website maintenance process.

This practice can help you always keep your website attractive and engaging.

That’s it for now!

For more website testing tutorials, you can check out other Bloggingtips posts.

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