What is Website User Testing?
User testing is a way of gaining insight into the performance of a website by putting small groups of users through specific scenarios and tasks.
Unlike a market research survey, which gathers opinions as to what people ‘think’ about something, a usability study gathers information by getting people to ‘do’ something. This type of study does not provide much instruction other than laying out the task and then getting the user to do the rest. The most valuable insights come from the users’ comments as well as facial expressions and emotions that occur while the testing is happening.
Why it is User Testing Important?
Regardless of your budget, user testing provides invaluable information regarding where your site is performing well and what areas require improvement. Jakob Nielsen, a leading expert in the field of usability testing provides the following insights statistics on the benefits of user testing:
“Following a usability redesign, websites increase desired metrics by up to 135% on average”.
Improvement included activities such as:
• User performance / productivity 161%
• Use of specific (target) features 202%
• Completing survey 100%
• Web Site Traffic 150%
Tidal Interactive has developed an iterative process for user testing that can be conducted for businesses of any size. We offer a wide variety of services to improve website usability.
What We Offer:
|Selection of Groups for User Testing||Pre – Testing|
|Creation of User Testing Scenarios||Pre- Testing|
|Follow – Up Survey Questions for Users||Post – Testing|
|A Completed Report – present results of the user testing including recommendations||Post – Testing|
What we are Measuring during User Testing:
During the user testing process there are several attributes we are focussing on. The four major responses are:
- User Recall – How much of the site/prototype can the user recall once all testing has been completed
- Site Performance (Efficiency) – Are users able to complete their task easily? What roadblocks do they encounter?
- Emotional Responses of the User – What is the users overall feeling after testing? Do they feel satisfied with their results? Was the test stressful?
- Test Accuracy – Were the scenarios easy to follow? How many mistakes did users make during the testing? Were the mistakes consistent for all users?
User Testing Techniques
Each user testing session is different. Whether it is the audience being tested, the situations being tested or even the location of where the testing is being conducted, every situation can involve slightly different techniques. Some of the most common techniques that we use are listed below:
- Think Aloud Protocol – Hearing the feedback of users while the testing is taking place.
- Hallway Testing – ‘Grabbing random people from the hall” or rather insuring that all users have no bias to the site being tested.
- Remote user testing – With many clients, their products and services may be sold to individuals all over the world. Therefore, testing via web conference or video conference can become an effective way for testing users remotely. A script with scenarios and a link to the website or prototype being tested can be sent ahead of time.
- Heuristic Studies (Expert Review) – With a heuristic review a group of usability experts is brought in to assess your website based on ten main usability rules. After each expert has graded your site for these ten different principles, they collaborate together and provide a list of the areas of your site that require improvement.