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The Most Effective Testing Methods to Improve Website Usability
Site owners struggle to detect usability and accessibility issues. In this article, we discuss six UX methods of testing to improve a website’s usability.
When using a website on desktop or mobile devices, users want the process to go as smoothly as possible. This level of comfort and satisfaction affects the overall user experience and determines a site’s usability score.
Without rigorous testing, site owners will struggle to detect usability and accessibility issues that drive customers away from their site, leading to lower traffic and conversions.
In this article, we discuss UX methods of testing to improve a website’s usability. But first, let’s define UX testing and explore why every website needs it.
Website UX testing: why is it important?
UX testing is the process of evaluating common usability issues that might disrupt the user experience when using a website. Factors that define a site’s usability coefficient include the following:
- The site’s responsiveness and intuitiveness.
- The difficulty (or ease) of finding information on the web pages.
- The website’s loading speed and average load time.
- The site’s memorability, which allows users to navigate it during subsequent visits.
- The user’s level of satisfaction after using the web platform.
- The error frequency and severity when using features on the website.
From the UX usability testing results, business owners can optimize the website’s front-end structure, information architecture, user interface, and loading speed to generate more traffic.
UX testing also helps web administrators improve site navigation to ensure easy access to vital information. Besides, a properly-tested and optimized website provides additional social proof for online businesses.
Improve website usability with these testing methods
As a business owner looking to boost a site’s usability score with testing, here are some sure-fire techniques to consider:
Baseline usability testing
This testing method involves using features on the live website to see how they live up to the expected outcomes. During baseline testing, the QA specialist or web administrator outlines key UX metrics to determine a usability benchmark for site performance. Baseline usability testing usually occurs in-house, but some companies often involve external teams and verified users in the process.
User testing (moderated and unmoderated)
The best way to eliminate confirmation bias in baseline UX testing is to gather insights from real users. When a moderator supervises the testing exercise, it is a moderated usability testing. Otherwise, the researcher is conducting unmoderated usability testing.
Moderated testing helps users follow a specified testing approach, which provides insights for optimization. However, moderated tests limit the real-life user experience to only the testing instructions. Alternatively, unmoderated user testing allows site owners to observe how their customers interact with on-site features.
When a business owner doubts that the customers cannot give unbiased opinions, they can conduct guerrilla tests for their web platform. During guerrilla testing, the researcher hands out the wireframe or prototype to random strangers and asks them for feedback. If a business wants to expand its services to a new audience, guerrilla testing procedures should be part of the framework.
When restructuring the site’s information architecture, card sorting is the perfect starting point. This testing method involves handing out “cards” containing site content and asking users to arrange them according to how they would use them. Based on the results from the sorted cards, the QA tester can decide the best way to restructure the site’s information architecture.
Let’s face it; only a handful of customers can participate in the usability studies at any given time. And this limits the number of insights that researchers can collect for site improvement. With that in mind, UX specialists should request feedback from customers regarding navigation and feature accessibility. Through the use of surveys and questionnaires, companies can tap into a wider pool of consumers to improve the browsing experience.
This method involves testing older and newer versions of the same website. Instead of scheduling tests and limiting the study to a handful of users, business owners can create two versions. Afterward, they can send both to their target audience. By comparing the results and usability scores, the UX specialist can spot the version that generates more traffic.
UX testing involves evaluating the usability factor for a website or web platform. Website administrators can use baseline testing or card sorting to assess performance and usability. They can also collect insights from users directly through surveys and moderated tests. Start working on website usability testing methods to increase traffic, conversions, and brand reputation.
Instead of using trial and error to interpret quantitative data, take the guesswork out of it and ask your users directly. Our cognitive psychologists and UX experts will observe your users as they interact with your product, and will advise you on how to optimise the digital experience. Click here to know more.