Improving website usability is consistently a challenge for companies – whether a startup or a large enterprise. There’s a plethora of information and healthy debate on what user experience research methods should be used and when. When it comes to quantitative versus qualitative research, best practices suggest a mix of qualitative and quantitative approaches to effectively capture a more holistic perspective. A challenge, however, is how to combine qualitative and quantitative testing in a cost-effective, productive way to rapidly obtain data to drive user-centered design. That’s where TryMyUI and Loop11 partnership comes in. When TryMyUI and Loop11 are used in tandem, designers, researchers and marketers have a powerful set of tools to optimize site and user experience.
What’s the difference?
The difference between quantitative and qualitative approach is often explained using contrasting terminology, like “hard vs. soft”, “numeric vs. non-numeric”, “statistics vs. insights”, “measure vs. explore”, “what vs. why”. The quick contrasts are useful to highlight both the strengths and limitations of each approach if used solely without consideration of the other.
Broadly, quantitative research can provide path and performance analyses by capturing the “what” of user behavior. Loop11 is a remote usability testing tool that provides quantitative measures of real users’ behavior through clickstream analysis. Loop11 delivers quantitative metrics such as task completion rates, number of clicks, time on tasks, and detailed path analysis. To get started, researchers use Loop11 to create tasks or questions that are then presented to real users. Loop11 supports unlimited tasks and questions, and as many as 1,000 users can participate. Data generated from users’ clickstream are automatically presented in real-time reports.
The quantitative measures from Loop11 is especially useful if researchers want to
- identify any usability problems
- measure task efficiency and success
- compare against competitor usability metrics
In contrast, a goal of qualitative research is to gain valuable insight into the thought processes behind the user’s actions or clickstream. TryMyUI is a remote usability testing tool that captures the “voice of the customer” via a video recording and a written summary documented by the user. As users navigate a website, they “think aloud”, verbalizing their thoughts as they complete the tasks or questions posed by the researcher. For example, a user may express surprise to find the “register” button in a particular location on the site. Quantitative research tracks that the user clicked “register” and what the user clicked on before and after. For researchers, the additional insight that the user was “surprised” augments the analysis of the user’s behavior, and the researcher observes this first-hand by viewing the narrated video delivered by TryMyUI.
What you can learn from the qualitative measures from TryMyUI:
- how does the user experience match the user’s natural expectations about how things work
- why is the user experiencing this with in-context feedback
What’s the linkage?
Loop11 provides the quantitative measures through metrics and reports, and TryMyUI delivers the qualitative insights via narrated videos and written answers to survey questions. With these two easy-to-use, on-demand testing tools, any researcher or marketer can simultaneously gain insight into both the “what” and the “why” of user behavior.
Although there is no single usability tool that provides this powerful combination, the combined functionality can be replicated by initiating a project in Loop11 and then augmenting the testing process in TryMyUI. To get started, open an account on TryMyUI.com and Loop11.com. Both sites offer a free trial for the first project to help get started and become familiar with the process and results. Once the accounts are created, the process is straightforward:
1) At Loop11, create the test scenarios, invite user participants, and analyze metrics and reports
2) At TryMyUI, copy the project URL generated upon launching your Loop11 project. In “Create a New Test”, paste the Loop11 project URL in “Web Site Address”. There’s no need to re-enter the test scenario and tasks in “Scenario” and “Task” sections, as that information is already captured in the Loop11 project URL.
3) Use the default “Survey Questions” or customize as needed. Select the demographics. Select number of testers.
4) TryMyUI handles the rest, and will deliver videos of each test user navigating the website with the “think aloud” narration. Users will also provide written answers to “Survey Questions”, for example, “what did you like about the website.”
That’s it! Let us know how this works for you.