We all know that there is no such thing as a perfect website.
No one can categorically state that they have created the perfect website because there will almost certainly be issues that are out of their control or differences of opinion regarding design.
Although the online world is an intense survival of the fittest, you can get your website up to a good standard with some hard work and continued research. We’ve listed seven simple ways you can test your website to identify any usability issues using approved techniques from UX and CRO specialists around the world.
This process can take place throughout the entire lifetime of a particular website, helping designers and developers to understand how easy their interface is to use. Users are asked to perform specific tasks whilst being observed – simple.
Used by 80% of experts as their first resource, this is one of the most commonly used methods for gaining a better user experience.
Critique Expertise and Feedback
Another popular method of testing, the ‘heuristic evaluation’ requires you to predict problems within an interface; this can be across mobile, desktop or app designs. There are 10 broad rules that are used as a standard to uncover a range of issues, allowing you to quickly eliminate those that aren’t relevant to your business.
This style of the walkthrough is designed around anticipating user behaviour and suggesting how they would accomplish tasks by tracing their potential mental process. This can be applied to almost any task on the website and allows you to determine one or more sequences of actions that could be followed by the user
Similar to the review in point 2, this is a more detailed and structured approach, however. The checklist used highlights preparation, execution and consolidation as the three key areas of focus.
Preparation involves determining which particular areas need evaluating. Execution allows you to review the key areas and rate how they are currently being met. Consolidation is fully focused on a thorough analysis to understand any patterns or trends, therefore isolating issues and aiding solution-making.
The PURE Method
‘Pragmatic Usability Rating by Experts’ is used to identify the difficulties a user may encounter on your website when using the interface, with a particular focus on ease of use.
A pre-approved method of scoring allows you to grade each area of the interface red, yellow or green dependant on how much cognitive effort is required from the user. You can learn more about the scoring system here.
The Navigation Stress Test
This assessment focuses on three key points for the user: Where am I? What’s here? Where can I go?
You can complete this test by choosing a web page at random from your site and printing it out in black and white. Assume the role (or ask someone else to do this) of a new visitor to your website and try to understand as much information from the page as you can.
Also known as summative studies, these benchmarks can help you position your website features in direct comparison to industry standards. You can also test, measure and track your site over an extended period of time.
Choose your main KPIs, conduct research using a task-based setting (ie adding a product to your cart), gather data and review at least twice a year. See what trends you can spot and if your expectations are being met consistently throughout the year.
And there we have it. Get your data hats on, dive in and see what usability issues you can identify using these handy tips!