Usability testing

What is usability testing and why should you use it?

Usability testing, a type of qualitative research, is one of the most powerful diagnostic tools used in Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO).

That’s because the most successful CRO projects focus on getting into the mind-set of your customers and really understanding why they behave the way they do. The key to getting really big wins is to engage with your customers.

Quantitative tools, such as analytics, are helpful to identify where the problems are. But that’s as far as it goes, because all you’re looking at is an aggregate of traffic flow around your site.

Usability gets to the heart of why customers are having those problems. It paints a picture of the customer journey, highlights what makes them get stuck on your website and why they leave without buying.

Usability testing is also a great way to interact with users and ask them follow-up questions to gain further insight. Their feedback can help your designers create improved web page designs that really meet the needs of your customers and help them to buy more.

There’s three key types of usability testing:

  • laboratory
  • remote unmoderated
  • remote moderated

Of the three, remote moderated is our testing method of choice, because we find it offers the most useful insights at a reasonable cost. Moderated usability testing gives you the chance to ask questions of the tester during the session, or after. Answers to questions that for us have often revealed the most profound insight.

Usability testing is not as time consuming as you might think. Our clients are often surprised to learn that research has shown that a sample of just five users can identify around 85% of the issues that may be preventing your website conversion rates going to the next level.

For the most accurate results, however, we suggest using at least 15 participants and always using real users to carry out real tasks in realistic conditions, rather than a panel of paid volunteers.

To find out more about usability testing, read our full usability testing ebook.

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Posted in: Usability Testing

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