Importance of Usability Testing

Retain visitors

One in three Internet users will leave a website after visiting the home page having gone no further. Usability testing and accurate monitoring can provide an answer to why you are losing so many new visitors. Some of the most common reasons for this include:

  • The visitor did not understand what the website was about, or decided that it doesn’t have what they were looking for.
  • The website’s home page took too long to load and so the user gave up waiting.
  • The link to your website did not load the content that the visitor was promised.
  • The website required that a required plug-in such as flash or shockwave be installed in order to vie the website or play any videos.

Some common methods to engage and keep a steady flow of visitors include providing access to a freebee from the home page, news updates on the home page, emailing registered members of the website when important news and promotions happen and or engaging via social media. Other methods include not using pop up adverts or a limited use of them with clear exit boxes.

Find out which parts of your website fail

Usability testing can help you find out which parts of your website are letting you down. A typical example is with e-commerce websites where visitors abandon their shopping carts and checkouts. Some common reasons for this include

  • Visitors may be scared by the price, or that they do not really want the item, or that they have the wrong item and or want to go back a step.
  • Visitors turn to another website and keep searching by comparison.
  • Visitors give up looking online and turn to traditional shopping on the high street if it is a hard to find item

Testing the usability can decrease the drop out rate. Amazon, for example, allows you to keep going to and from your shopping cart so you can add more items to your order. Also, a diagram illustrates where a shopper is in the checkout process and steadily takes the shopper through the process. Shoppers are presented with a confirm you order page before payment is made so they can pay or cancel

How to improve the user experience of your website?

Visitors to your website will leave your website fully satisfied and with positive opinions if their experience in your website was pleasant. Some reasons why they may not include:

  • Broken links
  • Site scripting errors
  • Spellings and typographical mistakes;
  • Poor grammar
  • A poor design and or layout

Help you understand your customers

Usability testing will give provide a better understanding your visitors; what they want, how they think and how they use your website. How can you provide a good service or product if you don’t understand your customers or target audience?

A typical rule of thumb is “What one person says can be interpreted differently by the person listening.”

Using this rule in the same way you must remember that what you think your visitors want from your website and how they use it could be different from what they actually want.