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Online Marketing Program: Website Foundations ~ 1.1.1 – Usablity Testing

August 22, 2011 by · 5 Comments
Filed under: SEO 

Okay, you’re working on your site design, and the navigation and how the user is expected to use the site looks pretty easy to use, right? Well, have you tested that user interaction?

Thought not….I’m always surprised at how many clients coming to us have not tested their own site at all. You or your web team developed the user interface, so you know how things work…so what’s the problem? Sigh…the problem is that you know the interface but your users don’t. And they’re the ones who NEED to know the navigation, the forms, the hierarchy….they need to intuitively grasp what needs to be understood to work their way through your site….to arrive at a buying decision…else the site – and all your hard work and effort and cash are lost!

So look here first at what Wikipedia outlines as the basic goals of usability testing -

Usability testing is a black-box testing technique. The aim is to observe people using the product to discover errors and areas of improvement. Usability testing generally involves measuring how well test subjects respond in four areas: efficiency, accuracy, recall, and emotional response. The results of the first test can be treated as a baseline or control measurement; all subsequent tests can then be compared to the baseline to indicate improvement.

  • Performance — How much time, and how many steps, are required for people to complete basic tasks? (For example, find something to buy, create a new account, and order the item.)
  • Accuracy — How many mistakes did people make? (And were they fatal or recoverable with the right information?)
  • Recall — How much does the person remember afterwards or after periods of non-use?
  • Emotional response — How does the person feel about the tasks completed? Is the person confident, stressed? Would the user recommend this system to a friend?

So you know now that you need to test…but how? Learning from others is the key…and again, here’s more info from Wikipedia on just what their own usability experts have gathered….

Usability testing methods:

1]. Hallway testing —

Hallway testing (or Hall Intercept Testing) is a general methodology of usability testing. Rather than using an in-house, trained group of testers, just five to six random people, indicative of a cross-section of end users, are brought in to test the product, or service. The name of the technique refers to the fact that the testers should be random people who pass by in the hallway.

2]. Remote testing –

Remote testing, which facilitates evaluations being done in the context of the user’s other tasks and technology can be either synchronous or asynchronous. Synchronous usability testing methodologies involve video conferencing or employ remote application sharing tools such as WebEx. The former involves real time one-on-one communication between the evaluator and the user, while the latter involves the evaluator and user working separately. Numerous tools are available to address the needs of both these approaches. WebEx and Go-to-meeting are the most commonly used technologies to conduct a synchronous remote usability test.

3]. Expert review –

Expert review is another general method of usability testing. As the name suggests, this method relies on bringing in experts with experience in the field (possibly from companies that specialize in usability testing) to evaluate the usability of a product, which can be an expensive process to gather this data for startups!

Resources & Testing URLS -

     [http://usability.jameshom.com/index.htm]

     [http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/05/15/optimizing-conversion-rates-its-all-about-usability/]

     [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Website_architecture]

     [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_design]

     [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interaction_design]

     [http://www.usabilityfirst.com/about-usability/]

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  1. Zoomit.ca says:

    Online Marketing Program: Website Foundations ~ 1.1.1 – Usablity Testing…

    Okay, you’re working on your site design, and the navigation and how the user is expected to use the site looks pretty easy to use, right? Well, have you tested that user interaction? Thought not….I’m always surprised at how many clients coming to us h…

  2. olddogg.com says:

    Online Marketing Program: Website Foundations ~ 1.1.1 – Usablity Testing…

    Okay, you’re working on your site design, and the navigation and how the user is expected to use the site looks pretty easy to use, right? Well, have you tested that user interaction? Thought not….I’m always surprised at how many clients coming to us h…

  3. BizSugar.com says:

    Online Marketing Program: Website Foundations ~ 1.1.1 – Usablity Testing…

    Okay, you’re working on your site design, and the navigation and how the user is expected to use the site looks pretty easy to use, right? Well, have you tested that user interaction? Thought not….I’m always surprised at how many clients coming to us h…

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