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Website Usability Testing: How To Boost Conversions And Avoid UX Issues

In today’s business landscape online visibility is no longer a choice but a necessity.

But here’s the thing.

In a complex web world, where every business is fighting for the limited attention of their target audience, merely having an online presence is not going to make the cut anymore. You need to optimize your website for your audience.

This is exactly where website usability becomes so critical.

The problem?

Optimizing your website for the best user experience is often more complex than it seems at first.

There are so many places that you could go wrong. From visual design, navigation, usability to functionality, there are so many areas where your experience can go wrong.

To ensure performance, conducting website usability tests is critical. It can not only improve your designs significantly but ensure your users can do maximum in minimum time.

So the real question is how can you conduct quality usability testing?

In this blog post, we reveal seven website usability testing hacks that can boost your conversions and user experience flows in 2021.

7 ways to use website usability testing to boost conversions and avoid UX issues in 2021

user testing vs usability testing
Source: https://medium.theuxblog.com/user-testing-v-s-usability-testing-c3a9edd04612

Website usability tests can bring significant benefits to the design and development team of a website. Giving a promising opportunity to spot errors and areas of improvement, ensures your end code development output has a product-market fit. But to get this right, you need to be strategic.

A quality website usability test starts with proper planning. You cannot test everything via a single test. You need to prioritize goals and set your primary objective. This will give your test focus and direction. Then you need to finalize the UI (user interface) elements that you want to test for optimizing. Now, comes the most tricky part.

Choosing your test method. There are so many ways that you can use for your test. But the best one is determined by the goal and test convenience. Finally, you need to be aware of the quality of questions. The more insight-rich they are, the better your test results would be.

Interested to know in detail? Here is one of our best usability testing guide for you. 

But here in the following section, we talk about the core 7 methods that you can use to boost conversions and create less friction in the user flow.

1. Guerilla testing

Usability testing popularly known as Guerilla testing is typically a lab-based examination. In these tests, users complete tasks that are similar to their actual environment while observers record their comments.

Furthermore, the main goal of this evaluation is to discover the core problem areas that users experience while they are on your website (in terms of an existing design).

Guerrilla testing is amongst the most widely used techniques. Also, more than 80% of experts adopt it as their fundamental choice for troubleshooting. Moreover, this testing helps you discover the hidden UX design issues that are affecting your website and something that you have not noticed before.  

2. Heuristic assessment

The heuristic assessment uses Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) to forecast and rate errors in an interface of any website. The majority of professionals still utilize it as one of their primary approaches.

Heuristic evaluation is approached differently by different CRO firms. However, all heuristics are based on the same principles. In heuristic evaluation, it is important that how many experts will be included in the assessment? To identify heuristic issues, you’ll be needing more than one expert.

As you increase experts, it will help you identify more problems. At least 3 to 5 specialists should participate in the heuristic evaluation. However, having more than 5 experts does not put additional value in evaluation.

Moreover, We should review these questions thoroughly before conducting a heuristic approach:

  • Who needs to perform the heuristic analysis?
  • Do we need CRO /usability professionals, or should we hire a system administrator?
  • Can we manage the funds to perform this evaluation?

The answer to the above questions are:

If you need to choose an evaluator between the usability expert or recruit one to conduct a heuristic method. We suggest you opt for usability professionals rather than hiring someone unprofessional. Also, to avoid constraints in between the process, it is recommended to assess all of your resources beforehand. 

3. Cognitive walkthrough

The cognitive walkthrough method focuses on predicting how users will complete their tasks. In this technique, experts track the mind patterns anticipated by users.

The main goal of this strategy is to make a website easier to use. It has been founded on the premise that consumers grasp through a set of discoveries rather than conventional training.

After selecting an activity from the website’s extensive list, the expert’s primary goal is to identify one or maybe more patterns that users will follow.

Moreover, the cognitive walkthrough method is a credible source for predicting usability issues and could give useful information regarding interface enhancement topics.

4. Checklist evaluation

usability testing checklist
Source: https://www.qatouch.com/blog/usability-testing-checklist-to-evaluate-product-usability/

The checklist review is identical to the heuristic assessment approach. But it is a more comprehensive approach. It is centered on compressive statements as well as a compilation of best concepts and standards.

The checklist evaluation, also known as a guideline review, is divided into three phases:

Preparation: This phase includes enlisting subjects after they’ve been familiar with the website’s main pages. Then select which elements need to be evaluated.

Execution: At this phase, there are maybe a few significant processes you need to analyze:

  • Evaluate the test conditions
  • Score both the checkpoints
  • How both checkpoints meet

Consolidation: This stage is entirely committed to a detailed evaluation to assign trends within the results and how every critical page functions, as well as what the primary shortcomings are and what could be the best solutions to resolve them.

Due to its comprehensive nature, such assertions and recommendations tend to expand over time. During this assessment, an issue may exist inside the website which demands extra concentration and effort when implemented.         

5. The PURE technique

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total product pure score
Source: https://measuringu.com/pure-history/

PURE refers to “Pragmatic Usability Rating by Experts.” Christian Rohrer said this unique technique is used to predict the level of “resistance” an average user may encounter when using an interface. So, this assessment emphasizes determining how accessible and easy to use this interface is.

The PURE method offers you to evaluate resistance by scoring. Furthermore, the expert has to score the friction according to a set of predetermined criteria and regulations. Both behavioral and attitudinal measurements are included in the PURE technique. In this way, the PURE method allows you to fill the void left by conventional techniques which work in the algorithm of either behavioral or traditional.

The experts of the PURE method start by aggregating rates based on criteria to determine how easy a website is to use. Then they offer qualitative suggestions to resolve the difficulties they identified.

PURE assessment is simple, inexpensive, and accurate. Although, it is a detailed and specific method for obtaining reliable results.

6. The navigation test

This evaluation contains difficult questions regarding your website, allowing you to focus on usability problems and encourage you to make deliberate design decisions.

These concerns are centered on three main points:

  • What am I doing here?
  • How much do we have here?
  • Which other options do I have?

There is no necessity to recruit professionals to perform these tests; you can conduct these tests on your own. All you need to do is tick up all the questions that you answered already with symbols in the chart. Then suggest the solution based on findings to all the questions you couldn’t answer before. Then suggest the solution based on findings to all the questions you couldn’t answer before.

Moreover, the navigation test is an inexpensive method to examine the usability of your website. Also, it is one of the quickest methods.

7. Cumulative studies

UX Benchmarking studies, also known as cumulative studies. That allows you to compare the characteristics of your website to the standards of the industry.

Benchmarking authorizes you to test, evaluate, and monitor the performance of your website over time while considering user experience metrics.

To analyze and estimate the user experience, benchmarking blends quantitative and qualitative data altogether.

There are two types of benchmarking analyses:

  • Stand-alone Benchmarking is a very useful technique for establishing best practices for your website and identifying issue areas. Also, it examines the growth of your website over time.
  • The competitive analysis compares key indicators of your website by adding extra factors to the picture, which includes comparing the rate of success of revenue-generating activities. As well as measures the time spent on each task.

8. Attention testing: 3Ws

3Ws refer to effective visual hierarchy in Web design: What, Why and Where. 

The most basic objective of Web design is to ensure that users can find what they’re looking for fast and effortlessly. The majority of websites do a poor job of drawing readers’ attention to the most important content. As a result, users are forced to think about and decipher each page, increasing their cognitive load and diminishing their odds of finishing the activity.

This is why it’s so important to pick and choose which information should be displayed above the fold in the first place: we don’t want customers to be overwhelmed by the number of options available, which could lead to inaction.

When a user arrives on a new page, they should be able to see what the page is about, why it matters, and where to go next right away, according to the 3 Ws method. Within the first three seconds of landing on the page, all of these qualities should be obvious. People need to be able to immediately see the keywords they’re looking for. You must not only emphasize the product’s worth but also explain why customers should buy it from you instead of a competitor.

It is important to create CTA buttons on your website so that it would motivate users to take action. As rapidly as possible, ensure that your users can find whatever the next logical step is for them.

Numerous case studies have shown that graphically displaying the most important content can significantly increase conversion rates.

Conclusion

Usability testing is a critical part of ensuring a superior web experience for your audience.

A failed design often leads to friction resulting in a high bounce rate. Chances are you would miss most of your business and revenue opportunities on the web. But with usability tests, taking data-driven, agile decisions for optimizing your site experience is way more simple.

But here’s the thing.

While you are testing your designs on real users, never forget to revisit your initial research about your ideal audience. Also, talking to them and asking for their feedback directly can create an immense impact on your final output.

There are many times where tests uncover the ‘what’ and ‘where’ of the errors but fail to discover the ‘why’. Talking to users directly can help in such areas.

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