How to Craft a Website Usability Test with Your Audience
Website usability tests hold the power to increase your website conversions, time users spend on unique content, recommendations, and much more. The ease with which users can access your website is website usability, so the sooner you can validate this aspect of your business the better.
You will want to run website testing for things like dead links, 404 errors, and the like, but website usability helps ensure users are getting the content and information they need quickly and easily. Website usability comprises the following areas of website design: effectiveness, efficiency, memorability, learnability, and error prevention.
Website Usability Test: Effectiveness and Efficiency
The effectiveness of your website depends on how easy it is for the user to find the information they need. One can measure the effectiveness of their website by taking note of the following:
- Are users obtaining an objective via your website?
- Can they find their needed information on the site?
- If users are unable to obtain their desired information, what barriers are stopping them? Can these barriers be eliminated?
Efficiency of your website measures how quickly and accurately users are able to perform their desired actions. Things to consider include how rapidly the task is performed, how many steps involved to complete the task and what (if any) elements prevented the user from completing the task more quickly?
A great way to host a usability test for these aspects is to watch someone go through your website and answer questions that people often search for when they visit your site. See where that person goes to find out where they think that information should be. Gather data to determine if an item should be moved for a more effective usability experience.
Website Usability Test: Memorability and Learnability
Memorability plays an important role in the continuity of the effectiveness and efficiency of your website. Return users and repeat website visits play positively in your website usability tests. Not only that, your search engine results will rise to the top with the trust of your users supporting it.
Memorability plays a huge role in increasing your conversion rates. So, how do you make a site memorable? Keep your website simple and easy to navigate with content your users are looking for. Keywords, descriptions, and titles that tie to your users’ likely searches will continually keep your website visible and usable. The best way to test for this aspect of usability is to look at your bounce rate. Where are people bouncing most? What content can you add to improve this number?
Learnability and memorability go hand-in-hand. In order to get returning users, your site needs to be learned easily. In other words, your site’s navigation, organization, and content need to be accessible and understandable, otherwise, you will lose first-time users quickly and without the bat of an eyelash. Check out a few statistics below:
Website Usability Test: Error Prevention
Website errors are inevitable, which is why it’s so important to plan for error prevention and recovery. Quick fixes for 404 error pages or broken links may not seem like a huge deal in the grand scheme of your website, but errors can affect your search engine rankings. Visit here to complete a full search of your website for these quick fixes. Below is an example of how the tool works once you type in your URL:
Bonus: Other Quick Ways to Improve Your Website
- Hyperlinks are a great way to guide a user through your website. Instead of jumping from your site immediately after finding what they need, providing links to other related information either housed on your website or not. Inter-linking back and forth between your content within your website and other relevant websites builds trust with your website on Google and other search engines. Search engines recognize the “vote of trust” other websites put in your content by linking to it and the value of your content increases.
- Flashy, fun websites are exciting and interesting, but they’re also distracting. Don’t distract your user from the end game – you may be shooting yourself in the foot! A website is used for converting first-time visitors into loyal customers, so make it easy for them to get what they want, and then they’ll come back for more of your content.
- Be accessible! It’s a mobile world, so make your content accessible on all devices. Responsive design websites are the best way to go for this – your website responds to the device it is on rather than having both a desktop and a mobile version of every page of content on your website.
- Social media is a great way to bridge the gap with your audiences. Make your content socially friendly – make it shareable and make it easy for your users to connect with you on all social media platforms. People trust their friends and peers. Use social media to your advantage and make it easy for users to share your content with their friends and your future users.
- Content is everything. Create and share content for your website on other media outlets that is unique, original, useful, and has an SEO rank.
- Site speed is also something that can make or break your website. Website surfers today do not have time or patience for slow websites. Webmasters must focus on creating websites that load within three seconds. Methods such as caching plugins, writing clean code, and minimizing the number of redirects will increase your site speed for all impatient Internet users today.
It’s also worth mentioning user-friendly websites require many minimal specifications such as font sizes and type; strategically used colors and bold headings and subheadings; proper use of whitespace; use of numbered lists and bullets and breaking up the content into small, readable paragraphs and optimizing photos and videos. Using icons also has a great success with gaining your customer’s attention and enhance readability. Check out Flat-icons here.
Test with your website audience. Understanding your audience is an important step in being capable of offering your audience the content they crave. Make your participants comfortable, don’t make sessions too long, but do make sure to record them. An important thing to remember is to not push your opinions on your participants. Don’t ask leading questions or give too many examples of how you personally use the website you may have created, and always ask for feedback. They may have successfully navigated your website but still have suggestions for a better experience.
Wrapping Up Your Usability Test
Website usability tests are an important part of keeping your website up-to-date, increasing your conversion rates, upgrading your SEO, and increasing new and returning users. Focusing on the effectiveness, efficiency, memorability, learnability, and error prevention and recovery will allow your website to produce the conversions and interactions you are looking for. But, never forget your website content is just as important (if not more) than your website’s navigation or keywords. If you are not providing the appropriate and useful content your users want and need, another website will.
Have you ever completed a website usability test? Let us know what worked for you and what types of questions you asked below!