Tuesday, October 4

Building a Website With the User in Mind: Usability Testing and How It Boosts Conversions

If it were to travel back in time a decade ago, we’d learn that web developers and designers were some of the most sought after professionals. With the online world in full expansion, almost everyone was looking to have a cool-looking website for their business. And you couldn’t build one unless you had some pretty advanced technical skills or you hired a professional. 

Fast forward to today, and the paradigm has completely shifted. Nowadays it is ridiculously easy to build a website. There are lots of Wix-like platforms out there that let everyone put together a page even if they’ve never written a line of code in their life. Furthermore, you can do something a bit more advanced if you learn how to install WordPress and how to apply a free theme. 

Still, professionals working in the web industry are not obsolete. In fact, the domain is more diverse than ever! 

In a world where everyone can whip up a webpage, we need highly-trained professionals to help with conversion rates, SEO strategies, and audience targeting (among others). As such, we will discuss the impact of usability testing and why every business should consider it.

What is Usability Testing?   

The main purpose of usability testing is to identify any elements on your site that could confuse or repel the target audience. 

To do this, you will need to find the right type of users (aka the participant recruitment phase) to test your site, while your team observes their behavior. Once the test is over, it’s time to analyze the data and draw the conclusions. Next, you need to make the necessary adjustments to the site and wait for some type of feedback from the market. 

Of course, this is an oversimplification of the process, but it describes the basic steps. Also, usability testing can (and usually is) different for various industries or even products. 

Why Do We Need Usability Testing?

Let’s do a quick imagination exercise. Imagine yourself building a website based on what you perceive your customers would like. Then you do some basic SEO and marketing and wait for the customers to show up.

Will they? 

If your answer is “no”, you are correct. 

Right now, all major websites focus intensively on customers. They constantly upgrade the interface, back end, and other channels to fit the customers’ needs. As such, any website that doesn’t adjust to the trend only stands to lose. 

But how do you know what your audience is looking for? 

Here is where usability testing enters the scene. According to Steve Krug, the author of “Don’t Make Me Think”, usability really just means making sure that something works well enough for anyone to understand how to use it without too much effort.

Users think differently and so, they see your website from a different perspective than yours. 

In conclusion, the best way to stay in business and thrive is to try to understand their point of view. Once you do, you need to adjust the website and communication channels accordingly. 

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