Website usability testing 101

When building a web site, there are plenty of things to take into consideration. Web development and design are of course very important, which is why you need to make sure those who take care of this are professionals. But besides these, there is also one aspect you have to keep in mind: user friendliness. And while there are plenty of apps dedicated to bug tracking and problem solving, there are also certain solutions you can use in order to test your web page usability. These are very common especially for great companies and online stores, whose main activity is developed in the virtual space. Website usability testing is definitely something you need to consider when building a new page or consolidating an older one.

What is web site usability?

In order to find out the level of usability of your web site, you must first understand this term. In this context, this is not complicated to do, as the word describes how easy to access your platform is for its users. Dedicated studies have shown that about 80% of the people who enter a page and find it hard to navigate, leave the site within seconds. You do not want your platform to be one of those, which is why you need to make it as user friendly as possible. If you ensure visitors a qualitative experience, an intuitive interface and comprehensive design, then you are halfway there. Of course, usability is determined in rapport to certain criteria and purposes: do you want people to spend time on home page? Do you want them to visit many pages? Do you want them to come back? These are just some of the questions you need to ask before starting the tests per-se. All in all, usability is made of an ensemble of memorability, learnability, efficiency, visitors’ satisfaction and errors.

What is usability testing?

As with any other new project, you need to test your website before launching it on the market. So, usability testing for virtual platform is an ensemble of methods and techniques mandatory to evaluate the product’s features and capabilities, performed directly on users. Briefly, developers build a scenario they think visitors are likely cover, in order to see which the difficulties might be. A third party examines the experience, taking notes and the offering feedback. Based on these pieces of information, potential errors and flaws are corrected or even eliminated. This way, users’ experience is considerably improved.

Common types of website usability testing

The process involves many techniques, which can be applied solely or combined. The explorative method is more conceptual, so it is normally used in the early stages of product development, also known as prototyping. The assessment technique checks the overall friendliness of a web page, involving real time trials and satisfaction feedback. The last strategy, based on a comparison between two products is aimed to identify strengths, as well as weak points.