The effective web development is always about getting feedback from users. You can organize getting the feedback in different ways and at different stages of the website development. Whether it is design, aesthetics, navigation through the site or its content, the feedback is not the ultimate way of improving its efficiency. Only usability testing with real users might show whether the site meets all the demands.
Don’t save costs on usability testing
Ideally, the project budget for every website should include costs for usability testing. But in reality, many companies, especially small ones, cannot afford such spends. Even if the budget is too small and the website is developed by a few people, usability testing is not the thing to economize on. The simplest test is better than no testing at all.
Choose a testing group deliberately
It is important to remember that a testing group of people must correspond the target audience of the website. Otherwise, the results will not be effective. That is why involving relatives and friends is hardly a good idea.
Also, try not to involve the company employees or people who are close to web development. These users can understand the site constitution faster and easier than common users, and thus might create the illusion that the site is clear to the target users.
Inform the testing group about the conditions of the procedure
Before the testing you should explain users properly that it is not their abilities to be tested but the website’s ease of use. Also, they should know that in case of difficulties during their user experience, most likely they will not get any hints.
Make a detailed plan and set certain tasks
There must be definite prescriptions for users for the testing process. All their actions should be watched and recorded precisely, and then thoroughly analyzed. Monitoring users while testing will provide more detailed information than just the answers to the questions in the questionnaire. If you watch carefully and properly, the results will reveal most of the problems of the site.
Pay attention rather to what users do than what they say
There is often a significant difference between what people say they would do and what they really do interacting with the website. Precise monitoring should primarily refer to their actions.
In general, usability testing aims to answer such questions:
- Is the main goal of the site clear to users?
- Can users easily find everything they need on the website?
- How easy is to complete all the forms?
- Do users behave as the website owners expected them to?