Understanding User Tests, a Important Part of Web Design

 
added by Jibari Daniels on
Jul 21, 2014
 
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understanding user test02 - design decoding

When developing a website, designers cross many paths in order to get to the finish product. We develop wireframes, code, and subsequently deploy the website. These steps are followed in hopes of developing traffic and getting the site popular on the web. On the other hand, one of the most underrated parts of this web development process is testing. Running user tests is a necessary part of Web Design, Understanding user tests is even more important.

Ease of use or usability is a essential part of a website success. This success is determined slowly on how everyday users interact with the website. Today, I will discuss the importance of testing, understanding user tests, and rules to follow before the pre-launch process.

The Importance of Testing:

Testing plays a vital role in the success of a website. One of the most important and obvious things to test for is to see if users can not only, accomplish what you want them to accomplish when they land on your website, but is it done in the most effective and efficient manner. This can be accomplished with user task evaluation. A user task evaluation must be done to understand what the core users task are. Run these 5 user evaluations in order to better understand your target audience.

  1. Learning Process: How easy is it for users to learn how to use your website are there sufficient help features that will assist in the overall user experience
  2. Is the website efficient: Are users performing tasks the best possible way
  3. How precise is the website: What is the users error rate on your website, are they making mistakes when performing task, how fast do they recover when making mistakes
  4. How Memorable is your website: How easy is it to repeat a task
  5. Usability: What interactive elements do you have on the website that help users accomplish task once they are on the website. These elements include buttons, input text boxes, drop down menus, and links.

understandingusertest04-designdecodingUnderstanding these 5 tasks may be a little rough in the beginning. These web applications can assist you in understanding user tests. Testing applications such as Optimizely, Performable,  UnbounceGoogle Webmaster Tools, Google Analytics, Visual Website Optimizer, Moz, and IntuitionHQ help assist in the user testing process. Each one of the programs gives great insights in how your website comes across to users on the web.

Understanding user tests

Testing a new website at times can become very tiring and overwhelming. Here are a few tests you can run to start the pre-launch process.

  • A/B User Testing:

A/B testing is the easiest way to show what specific elements of your website is working. A/B testing is exactly how it sounds, you take two elements; Element A and Element B ( this could be a button, specific graphic, or image). Then, you record the actions that are performed when a user comes to the website. Next, you study the traffic between Element A and Element B and record there performance using metrics such as bounce rate, conversion, and sales. Finally you select the version that performs the best.

Although, each user test varies, this checklist is a perfect example of what you should look for when you perform user tests:

  • Layout and style of the website
  • Product pricing and offers
  • Images on landing and product pages
  • Usability
  • Amount of text
  • Loading time
  • Headline or product description
  • Call to action functions such as buttons, wording, size placement and color

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User Test Rules to Follows

Remember Ease of Use and Conversion are the two most important parts when performing user tests. These 5 rules are a great standard to follow when performing a user test.

  1. Always make sure your web content is readable
    Readability is a important part of any websites if users cannot clearly understand your website, then they will probably leave. You should always make sure your content is

    • Easy to Comprehend
    • Legible
    • and Enjoyable to Read

    This is a great tool for the readability of a website Juicy Studio Readability Tools

  2. Site Speed
    The speed of your website plays a major role in how long a user will stay on youR website. Always check the size of your page and also its load time
    This is easy to accomplish in Google Chrome by following these 2 steps:

    • Open google chrome and press the F12 Tab
    • Then click on the network tab to see the page loading time
  3. Have a website that is easy to navigate
    Always remember to make sure your website can easily be navigated, here are a few thing to considered when testing your website navigability

    • Information architecture
    • Can you find things on the website
    • Efficiency of Navigation

    This is a great tool for Website Navigability Websort.net

  4. Is the website easy to access
    Making sure your website, is accessible is another major thing to consider when developing your website. If your website is hard to find, you will lose out on potential sales and search engine ranking.
    Here are a few things to follow when checking for accessibility

    • Crossbrowsing/ cross platform compatibility
    • Semantic HTML
    • Design and Color Choice
    • HTML Accessibility Features
  5. UX or User Experience on the website
    The UX process of developing a website is a very important aspect, a user experience test is done after the website is complete and by using the feedback you receive from users. Here are few things that will help out the user experience aspect of the website

    • Usefulness
    • Enjoyment
    • Positive Emotions

    This it a great tool for the User Experience process on a website; Feedback army

Understanding User Tests Sum Up

User tests are a important aspect for converting users on your website. If you understand the principles outlined in this article you should not have any trouble bringing in more sales or converting users. When ever possible your should run a user test, even after the website is out of its Beta mode. These test can help you substantially with the promoting and understanding of your website.

Written by Jibari Daniels

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