The Importance Of Using Someone Elses Eyes
Usability testing for those unfamiliar with the term is basically having a selection of people test how your website works, how easy it is to find certain pages and generally the browsing experience for a new user. This is perhaps one of the most important things to do before you commission a website to go live. I say this as I am speaking from experience. Me and a colleague had spent a long time looking at the new web design and talking through the features it should have and how it should look and act. We had got to a stage where we thought we were ready to take it to the next stage and I thought we should see what other members of staff thought. It soon became apparent that quite a few (definitely more than we anticipated anyway) were struggling to find their way to the home page. Oh O 😦 .
Needless to say we had become complacent thinking that everyone would know the logo would act as a ‘return to homepage’ button. We can’t let basic web users think too much otherwise dangerous things could happen, they could hurt themselves…so we quickly added a home page button and saved what could have been a costly mistake.
It Doesn’t Need To Cost A Fortune
Now I have seen companies out there charge Ludicrous amounts of money for completing a usability test of a website. No joke I have seen companies advertise prices in the region of $10,000 for one website usability test. This I am struggling to understand…there is no way on earth they could justify that price…they may aswell sell magic beans and the same time…modern day dick turpins…ok rant over…back on track. As long as you know what you want users to do on your website you can come up with a set of questions and see how some test subjects (people not guinea pigs) do. You could be surprised at what the results show.
If like most small businesses you struggle for time and man power to spend the time to carry out these tasks then by all means get in touch with a web specialist and have them take care of it for you. This is something that I have done a few times now for different websites and if it is something you want to talk about then please just get in touch. 🙂
If Google Do It Why Shouldn’t You?
This is an article I have found whilst researching this blog post, you have to ask yourself this question if you don’t think it applies to you. Google hire a large team of people specifically to carry out Usability testing. Such a simple looking website and they are constantly testing the website. Can you afford not to at least check yours once? Here is an article I found detailing Google’s Usability testing. Enjoy.
GA, GE and GN