The importance of usability testing

In this article we look at the importance of usability testing. We also explore 5 reasons why usability testing should be conducted.

Why is it important?

Any website and apps is a critical part of any business and its marketing efforts in this day and age. Mobile technology and the range of devices available to the public make usability even more vital.

Visitors will not complain or tell you that your website or app is effective and fulfill their needs unless you provide an easy means of them doing so. You can do this through periodic feedback surveys conducted on your website or by arranged telephone calls.

5 reasons why you should conduct usability testing

1) Retain visitors

One in three Internet users will leave a website after visiting the home page having gone no further. Usability testing and accurate monitoring can provide an answer to why you are losing so many new visitors. Some of the most common reasons for this include:

Some common methods to engage and keep a steady flow of visitors include providing access to a freebee from the home page, news updates on the home page, emailing registered members of the website when important news and promotions happen and or engaging via social media. Other methods include not using pop up adverts or a limited use of them with clear exit boxes.

2) Find out which parts of your website fail

Usability testing can help you find out which parts of your website are letting you down. A typical example is with e-commerce websites where visitors abandon their shopping carts and checkouts. Some common reasons for this include

Testing the usability can decrease the drop out rate. Amazon.com for example allows you to keep going to and from your shopping cart so you can add more items to your order. Also, a diagram illustrates where a shopper is in the checkout process and steadily takes the shopper through the process. Shoppers are presented with a confirm you order page before payment is made so they can pay or cancel.

3) How to improve the user experience of your website?

Visitors to your website will leave your website fully satisfied and with positive opinions if their experience in your website was pleasant. Some reasons why they may not include:

4) Help you understand your customers

Usability testing will give provide a better understanding your visitors; what they want, how they think and how they use your website. How can you provide a good service or product if you don’t understand your customers or target audience?

A typical rule of thumb is “What one person says can be interpreted differently by the person listening.”

Using this rule in the same way you must remember that what you think your visitors want from your website and how they use it could be different from what they actually want.

5) Help you think as the customer thinks

In understanding your customer and their needs and wants you must ask yourself a variety of questions. These questions could be:

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