User and Usability Testing 101
User testing is a way to see how usable, or easy a platform is to use by testing it with real people. Typically, in a usability test, the UX researcher will ask the user to complete a set of tasks and observe how the user completes those tasks.
In most cases, conducting a user test will help you discover the core issues of your web or app design. If you task the user with finding a category in your eCommerce website, and they are unable to find it, that probably means that you might have to alter your navigation menu. Or maybe this means you have to implement a search bar into your eCommerce website. Nextopia offers an easy-to-implement search bar that could help with this.
User testing allows you to make the changes to your website features that were making user’s leave without a conversion, ultimately increasing your revenue.
User testing will help your digital team identify navigational problems, and will allow you to collect primary data, from real people in a controlled environment instead of basing insight off of your friends or colleagues opinions.
Getting Started with a Usability Test
To conduct a user or usability test, you must have user experience design professionals by your side. Typically, if you hire a UX design agency , like Codal, the team will strategically select a group of individuals to test the platform with.
While you might be able to conduct a user test by yourself, your data probably will not be as accurate as if you hired a UX agency. UX designers simply know the right questions to ask, and know what set of tasks will help accomplish their goal as a UX researcher.
The tasks and questions that need to be addressed typically range, depending on the type of eCommerce website. For example, a website like Abercrombie and Fitch, compared to Lord and Taylor, have a completely different demographic and target market. This might mean that your usability tests should probably be done with different age groups.
Some eCommerce websites have different features than other’s. There are some websites, like Nike ID , where you can customize your own sneakers, from the color to the writing on the back of the shoe. On the other hand, you have websites that have very basic eCommerce functionality: browse, add to cart, enter shipping information, and done!
Different features and functionality may require different user tests.
Return on Investment
Sometimes, it may be difficult to invest upfront for usability testing and any UX help. Understanding what the ROI is might make it easier to make that initial investment. Once you make that initial investment, and see what you get back from it, you’ll be happy that you did.
Every $1.00 invested in user experience design services can bring up to $100 in return. In the book, Cost-Justifying Usability: An Update for the Internet Age, it is stated that the average UI design has around 40 flaws, and if you fix at least half of the flaws, you will already see a huge improvement on your conversion rate.
More revenue is an obvious ROI of a usability test. However, you will also see things like higher engagements, more productivity, and a higher trust level from your UX investment.
Who doesn’t want to see more conversions and more interactions on their website?
Conclusion: Make it easy for your users
If a user cannot find what they are looking for, they cannot buy it. This is why testing your website with real users is so important. A simple change on a website can lead to more findability, leading to more purchases from your web page.
Help your users out, and craft your website around the mindset of your users. You won’t be sorry!
This guest post was written by Nextopia partner Codal, a UX design and dev agency with a focus on blending an Agile process with the latest emerging technologies.