User testing is a great way to learn how visitors interact with your site and make improvements from your findings. To get started, watch today’s episode for some best practices for truly effective user testing.
It’s no secret that a lot of online business owners design their site on what they think is best – since we know our products and customers better than anyone else, we know what’s best, right?
To help make your site the most effective, navigable and prepped to convert, it’s helpful to know how users actually interact with your website. The practice of doing so is known as user testing, which is a process in which you bring new visitors, or testers, into an environment where they tackle specific tasks in relation to your site. The idea here is to learn how people are truly working with your site so that you can find issues, make improvements and see how they affect your overall conversions. While this seems like an easy task, there are some important elements to keep in mind before getting started – pay close attention, because today I’ve got five major things to keep in mind before leveraging any effective user test.
-Matt Winn, Volusion
Here’s the transcript if you’d like to read along:
Hi, everybody! My name’s Matt, and I’m the Social Media Manager here at Volusion. Welcome to Two Minute Tuesdays, where we give you two minutes of ecommerce advice to bolster your online success.
When you’re designing your website, it’s really easy to go with what you think looks good, but at the end of the day, you need to please your customers and make sure they can navigate through your website. To do so, I advise that you try out something called “user testing.” But before you get started, pay close attention, because I’ve got five best practices when user testing your website.
First and foremost, you’ll want to set a specific testing goal and keep it in mind. For some background, user testing is all about recruiting strangers or new people to come to your website, giving them a specific task and then seeing what they do when they get there. In other words, you don’t want people to get lost trying to navigate your website. Instead, give them something like, “Find this specific product” or “Tell me where you can find our “About Us” information?” Giving a very specific task gives a lot more insight into how customers navigate through specific areas of your site, which then leads to new actions and improvements.
Number two, you’ll want to frame the task correctly. Once you have your specific goal in mind, make sure that you tell your testers what you want them to do without telling them too much. If that doesn’t make sense, think about it. If you say, “Find our ‘About Us’ page,” all they have to do is go click “About Us.” So frame it to be more complex. Say, for example, you’re looking for something to watch the Super Bowl on. “Find that product” makes it a lot different, and it gives you much better results.
Third on our list, you’ll want to find the right audience to test. It’s really important that you’re actually testing people who are in the demographic of customers that you’re selling to. For example, if your main target audience is full of seniors, you wouldn’t want to recruit a bunch of teenagers to come test your website because the information wouldn’t be very useful.
Number four, be sure to recruit an adequate sample size. By this, I go back to basic statistics, and that means that you can’t find just one or two people to user test your website and then make big drastic changes to it. Instead, you’ll want to find enough people to user test your site so that you find common themes among the results. Then you’ll have much more accurate information to base your decisions on.
Last, but definitely not least, make sure that you actually act upon the changes that you found from your user testing. It’s quite easy to find this information and nod your head and say, “Good to know.” But unless you actually implement changes based on this new information, you’re not going to get anything out of the process.
Keep these five tips in mind when you’re conducting any type of user testing for your website. It will definitely help you get much more accurate results that you can then implement and hopefully boost conversions.
If you have any questions, just leave me a comment in the box below. I’ll get right back to you.
From me to you, happy selling!