In a nutshell
Usability testing is every UX design team’s secret weapon for making an impact on a product, company, or brand. From ROI and CRO to credibility and desirability, all digital products at any stage of development will benefit from usability testing.
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Usability testing lets you see your website through the eyes of your user.
As owners, designers, or developers of a website, we quickly get to the point where we can’t actually see or experience our website as a first-time user does. We become so familiar with what we have created that we just can’t see aspects of the flow or copy that might be confusing or misunderstood.
On running their first website usability test, customers invariably have several “aha” moments when a user stumbles upon a glaringly confusing aspect of their site that they were previously blind to.
Advantages of remote usability testing over moderated in-person usability testing
Remote usability testing has several advantages over recruiting users to your own premises and walking them through a usability test.
Access to a very large pool of diverse users
With remote usability testing you have access to a very large pool of users all over the country and in fact all over the world. You are not limited to users in your local geographic area. For areas where start-ups are often founded like Silicon Valley, it is helpful to be able to watch users who might not be so familiar with technology using your product or service.
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Watch users on their own computers in their own home
On-site moderated usability testing is somewhat artificial in that you are putting users in an unfamiliar environment on your computer rather than theirs. Physically watching over the users is unnatural as well.
With remote unmoderated usability testing you get to see users as they really are in their home environment. You get to see how your website performs on their computer and browser with all its quirky settings.
No moderation is better than amateur moderation
Moderating an on-site usability test is very hard to do, especially if you are close to the product being tested. The key to professionally moderating a test is to keep your mouth shut most of the time. You must be able to let the user stumble around and find his way without jumping in to save him. This is often very difficult to do for owners, developers, or designers of a website.
Also, with in-person usability testing there is a strong tendency for the user to want to please the moderator and do and say the right thing.
Remote unmoderated user testing avoids these problems entirely. You simply have to write a good test and unleash users on it. You don’t have to worry about leading the witness and spoiling the test like when you are face to face with the user. You can also easily modify a test and try it on additional users. In this way you can evolve your test script systematically and get objective results.
Remote unmoderated usability testing is much less expensive
Recruiting users to visit your premises is a time-consuming and expensive process. Even done as cheaply as possible, in-person tests can cost several hundred dollars per user. Moreover there is always the possibility that you get one or more testers who don’t work out for one reason or another.
Remote usability testing software like Trymata costs as little as $35 per test; and your tests are guaranteed to be good, or you get your money back.
Usability test prototypes and wireframes
Current agile development methodologies advocate getting your product and ideas validated in front of customers as early and often as possible. Trymata remote usability testing allows you to do that easily and cheaply with settings for prototype usability testing and wireframe usability testing. Users are alerted to the fact that the site is not completely functional and are instructed to give impressions as they work around the missing functionalities.
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Built-in free impression testing (“5 second test”)
Website user testing with Trymata provides a built-in free impression test. You simply click a checkbox when you order your test and users will be shown your website for a brief period, then asked to answer some questions from memory. After the impression test they go on to complete the remaining tasks on your website. Why not take advantage of the fact that Trymata provides user who have never seen your site before to collect critical information on their first impressions.
Usability testing videos indexed by task
Trymata provides tests that are indexed by task. Quickly jump to the point in each video that you are most interested in reviewing. Trymata usability tests also come with built in task timing so you can get quantitative information on how long it took users to complete various tasks as well as qualitative usability information.