6 Step By Step Guide to Conduct Usability Testing for Website

A visually appealing website design and a pleasant user experience are critical components of a website’s success. These are some of the most crucial factors in increasing your website’s trust and conversion rate.

Most visitors visit your website to meet specific goals/to perform certain actions, such as ordering a ticket or obtaining detailed information. If your website cannot meet those demands swiftly and simply, potential clients will leave & move on to another website (probably your competitor).

A bad user experience may drive nearly 90% of online buyers away from eCommerce websites. So Website owners need to undertake usability testing to guarantee that users have a practical and happy experience.

How can you know whether your website provides a fantastic & flawless user experience? How can you tell whether you’ve overlooked anything crucial for your users?

This is where usability testing for website comes in.

What is Usability Testing?

Usability testing is an excellent method for validating your concept, website functioning, and design. It provides insights into how potential customers may interact with your website and may also reveal any other issues with your website so you can remedy them.

Benefits of conducting Usability Experiment for Website

  • It identifies the moment of disconnect between the website and the user. For example, we can track at which point of the sales/conversion funnel the website visitor is dropping off.
  • Before the website goes live, your design and development team may use usability testing to uncover problems and feature upgrades. It might spare you from making some costly mistakes!
  • Interacting with a representative group of individuals can assist you in validating your concept and product. You can tell if your website is working correctly by watching how people interact.
  • You may use usability testing for website to determine how pleased your potential consumers are with your website or product, how easy the site is to browse, and whether there is room for improvement before making it live.
  • If you want to provide your consumers a flawless & wonderful experience on your website, who is better than genuine people who can tell you about their experience?

Usability testing provides first-hand feedback on how your target audience reacts to your website. So in this article, we will explore the step-by-step guide on conducting Usability testing for your website.

Steps to conduct Usability Testing for Website

1. Plan your Session/Test (Set Objective)

2. Identify the Best Method

3. Recruit the participants

4. Conduct the Test

5. Analyze and present the final data

6. Rinse and Repeat

1. Plan your Session/Test:

Guide User Testing

As a beginning point, you should explicitly describe what you hope to accomplish through usability testing and what information you want to collect.

For example, if you want to know if consumers can successfully purchase a ticket, you must test the entire process, from browsing the main page to completing a single transaction.

In some ways, planning the specific goals of the usability testing session is the most critical element of the entire process. The choices you make at the beginning of the testing procedure will determine how you progress and your results.

Determine the scope & Objective of your research : Specify the problems/areas you wish to research & concentrate on: what is the usability testing’s purpose? Which sections of your business / E-commerce website would benefit the most from usability testing?

Users to test : Typically, these indicate your user personas, although you may wish to focus more particularly on a specific sector (e.g., users who have completed a purchase in the past 30 days).

We also advise only running one test at a time. It assists you in defining a SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound) objective and focusing on testing a specific component of the website.

2. Identify the Best Method

Determine which usability testing approach is best after determining the test’s purpose. Consider the resources you have available to conduct a website usability test.

In-house testing is the way to go if you need to execute a very controlled test. However, keep in mind that it will require additional resources.

On the other hand, if you want to get more findings in less time, unmoderated or moderated remote testing will suffice. There are a few different methods for usability testing as well.

Hallway Testing : The hallway technique is one of the most accurate ways of usability assessment. This test employs random people you do not know and asks them to interact with your website like a regular user. This strategy is beneficial for testing your website before it goes live.

Remote Testing : As the name implies, Remote testing is a usability test carried out remotely. Your testers might be in various states, time zones, or nations. You can conduct a remote test via video calling, and feedback can be recorded and submitted by your panel using a range of technologies. Compared to other user testing methods, remote testing is less expensive, and big audiences can participate in the test.

Eye and Cursor Movement Tracking : Eye-tracking and mouse tracking software can precisely measure how a user views/looks at the screen. It allows you to determine which part & section of the website they spend the most time on. Hotjar and CrazyEgg are two website heat map tools you may use. You may also track eye movements with iMotions or GazePoint.

In-person Testing : In-person usability testing is done in the presence of observers, and they observe the testers’ every step. As a result, in-person testing provides more detailed data than remote testing, and it is more expensive and time-consuming than remote testing.

Moderated Testing : Moderated testing is usability testing conducted in the presence of a UX professional (also known as “The Moderator”). The moderator gives explicit instructions or recommendations to finish the activity that the tester must follow. The direct engagement of an expert and the observation results in more in-depth results and gives insights into user behavior as they explore the website. 

Unmoderated Testing : Unlike moderated tests, they are managed and conducted by non-experts. Unmoderated testing can be used to monitor and quantify behavioral tendencies.

3. Recruit the participants

Each usability testing for website session should include five to seven people. If you utilize third-party services, it is easier to administer and is less expensive. However, the number of participants necessary will be determined by the development phases and the testing technique.

For the early stages, you can employ the Guerilla approach, in which you pick participants at random to test your website.

With this strategy, you don’t need to research the ideal user first because you’re looking to verify the prototype and obtain insights into the participants’ expectations. This test may also accommodate up to 12 participants in a single session. Also, you can do the following activities in finding the participants for the usability testing.

Take advantage of social media: If you have a social media following, utilize it to reach out to potential participants.

Recruit your clients: approach your clients/customers directly and ask if they’d be willing to assist (if they’ve permitted you to contact them for these activities). You don’t want to bombard them with emails that aren’t necessary!).

4. Conduct the Test

Although usability testing is primarily observational, effectively moderating tests is critical to obtaining valuable high-level insights. In moderated tests, several strategies are utilized (see below), each having advantages and disadvantages.

Conducting Usability Testing For Website

Here are various strategies at a glance, along with their benefits and drawbacks, as displayed on usability.gov:

Pros of Concurrent Think Aloud (CTA):

Understand participants’ ideas as they arise and seek to solve problems.

Obtain immediate feedback and emotional responses.

Cons:

Can disrupt usability metrics such as accuracy and time on task.

Pros of Retrospective Think Aloud (RTA):

It does not affect usability metrics.

Cons:

The overall session length lengthens.

Difficulty recalling ideas from up to an hour ago Implies terrible data.

Concurrent probing.

It is critical to record the audio and test screen of these tests so that the moderator may review the recordings after the tests are completed to discover any missed insights.

The same ideas and approaches apply to remote moderated usability testing, and technology has made recording Remote Desktop usability tests extremely simple.

5. Analyze and present the final data:

After the usability test is completed, the team must analyze the findings. There is no single way to analyze your data, and it is entirely up to you, as the researcher, how you want to visualize it. You may summarize and solve users’ experiences when navigating or categorize them based on specific shared characteristics.

You can address them or work chronologically, depending on the seriousness of the issue. You can use basic spreadsheets or specialized tools to determine the next steps in correcting or improving your website’s user experience. It’s all up to you. You can adjust the speed and look of your website based on the information you collect.

6. Rinse and Repeat:

Usability testing is not something that should be done only once. The initial test result may involve various factors, such as the time and even the participants’ attitude.

Performing many test iterations with various participants will improve the accuracy and precision of the data.

You may replicate the testing environment, which includes your test, the testing room, and even the script you use to manage the testing environment.

Conclusion

By following the above-said process, we can conduct usability testing for any website and make necessary changes to make it more successful. So please consider spending a tiny amount to invest in Usertesting. Cheers!

Some of the link on this post may have affiliate links attached. Read the FTC Disclaimer.

Author Info

Felix is the CEO of MaizonWeb, a web design agency in Toronto, and 3D Virtual Tour Services provider. He loves Tech, Photography, and Web Design.