Usability Testing: 5 Reasons Why You Should Invest In It

Usability Testing: 5 Reasons Why You Should Invest In It

Have you always wished you could get a second pair of eyes to look over your newly designed website? Have you wasted $$$ on advertising only to find your website did not convert? Usability testing is a great way to identify problems with your website and can save you from costly redesigns later down the line.

I’ve tested a lot of websites in my time. Most of my clients are amazed they did not see what I picked up on. Even¬†huge companies such as Virgin seem to be missing point and frustrating users.

It this reason that sometimes it can be handy to hire a second pair of eyes to look over your website. We do it in almost all aspects of our life, seek a second opinion, yet us small businesses and bloggers seem to skip this step when publishing our website for the whole world to see.

There are many services out there to assist you with this, companies such as trymyui and usertesting offer excellent features (at a price) or there are freelance usability testers such as myself who offer such testing.

If you don’t believe me check out these 5 reasons why you should seek a second opinion on your blog.

Your Ideas Will Always Make Sense To You, But Will They To Others?

Of course your sales funnel or navigation makes sense to you. You designed it, or at least told someone else what you wanted! To the average Joe it could be a complete cluster f**k of links, categories and CTA’s. When designing something for some time you develop a sort of tunnel vision with the project. I experienced this a lot while studying design at University. We often have group critiques every few weeks so we dont get our heads buried in the sand.

The problem with steaming right through the all important testing phases is that it usually leaves huge gaping holes in your website, that an average visitor will likely fall into.

You Save On Development Costs

I feel sad when I get given a new website to test that is already fully developed. It means the owner probably hasn’t tested the website in the creation process. They are often also sad when they get my video test back and see that I come across usability issues that will require a redesign.

By conducting a website usability test during each phase of your website development you avoid costly iterations. It could be something as simple as a quick 5 second test or getting a friend or designer to look over your site. Always get peer feedback on something before signing it off!

Better ROI

Before starting any sort of marketing campaign, whether it be through social media, organic seo or paid advertising, always perform a usability test to make sure your site is not poorly optimized.

By optimizing your site you will get better conversion rates and make your marketing budget spread further.

It’s simple, if your site is poorly designed users will drop off quicker and be less likely to complete your preferred action.

It’s A Quick Fix To Your Problems

If you have an abysmal conversion rate on your checkout process you may hire a designer to make things look more pretty or try and offer cheaper and faster shipping, but this is all guess work. By performing usability tests on the checkout process or any other part of your site you get direct feedback that you can immediately analyse and use to update your website accordingly.

It certainly beats paying a monthly advertising budget only to find out no one liked or could understand your checkout process.

Uncomprimised Feedback

client-screenshot

Many a time has a client of mine said that my feedback was brutal. I take pride in that. We testers don’t have to answer to a boss if a website doesn’t appeal to us. Because of this we are able to provide unbiased information that cuts through the office politics.

If you don’t want to upset your boss by telling them their decisions were crap, get a group of testers to do the dirty work for you.

Any form of feedback can be very helpful in the design process of your online business. It can save you from headaches further down the line and may even give you a great idea for a new feature for your website.

Get in contact with me today to discuss what your options are, I can help with appraisals myself or suggest larger providers to work with.

 

About the author

Paul Manwaring: This is where we share a thoughts, tips and research into the world of marketing, design and business. Be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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