Usability testing is a way to peek inside your users’ heads and see what they don’t like about your website or find frustrating about your mobile app. The knowledge of what’s confusing, frustrating, or stumping your users is the most powerful weapon to turn usability problems into strengths.
Checking your blind spots with usability testing
Why do you need usability testing? It can be difficult to know where the problems lie in your own website or product.
Because we’re so familiar with our own designs, we know how everything is supposed to work. We know where everything is, and what it all does. For this reason, it’s hard to imagine where, and why, others may not get it.
Usability testing lets you check these blind spots by getting the user’s view. Rather than playing a guessing game based on your own opinions, you can watch as people use your website and listen as they explain what they don’t understand or can’t do.
Usability testing: Get the user’s view
Sometimes, you know there’s a problem with your website. You may see evidence of it from your Google Analytics data, or your conversion rates, slumping sales, or just a hunch looking at your dated GUI. Those metrics, however, don’t tell you why there’s a problem.
To really understand the issue and start planning a solution, the only way is to get the user’s view.
For example, an environmental non-profit that tested their website with Trymata got this feedback about their interactive map feature:
“We can see a very specific location here in Bulgaria about forestry, and then when I click it, I get a general page about forestry, not specifically about the one in Bulgaria. Again, the problem is the connection. This is not specific to what I selected in the map.”
Without hearing this viewpoint from a user’s mouth, the website designers may have never realized that this was an obstacle for visitors trying out the feature. But by seeking out constructive criticism from real people, their eyes were opened to the problem and they were able to resolve it for every future user.
With remote unmoderated usability testing platforms like Trymata, getting that kind of feedback is quick and easy:
- Write your tasks: Create a list of 5-10 tasks you want users to perform on your website. Guide them towards the problem areas so you can see what confuses them.
- Choose your target user: Select from different demographic filters like age, gender, income, and more to get relevant users for your site.
- Send out your test: Just click “Order” – you don’t need to worry about recruiting users or moderating the test sessions.
- Review your results: Watch the videos, read users’ written responses, and use the quantitative metrics to zero in on the key insights.
Finding hidden stumbling blocks
Often, usability testing reveals things you didn’t know you didn’t know. Even if you were looking for just one specific issue, every video will reveal new problems people had along the way.
Below is a usability testing example clip from Domino’s Pizza, where a user struggles for 15 seconds with which button to click on a simple popup.
This is an issue that would likely never be recognized from Google Analytics data, yet it majorly impeded the user’s purchase. Without usability testing, the problem would go undiagnosed and continue to affect business for a long time to come.
Usability testing & user experience
A great user experience is what will keep users on your website and lead them to meet your conversion goals. Regular usability testing is what will help you turn a good website into a great user experience.
When it comes to web design, what matters most isn’t how good something looks – it’s whether people can use it. To create something that looks good and is intuitive and easy to use, you need input from the people who use it.
Set up your first user test for free and start getting the user’s view today!