Website Usability Testing – Ensure A User Experience That Excels

The web has now become the primary source point for B2B and consumers to find a product or service that they require. The competition on the web to grab the attention of the visitor is massive. Gone are the days where you can just throw a holding page up with a phone number and a few images and wait for the phone to ring.

Expectations are high, online customers are flighty and easily bored, so websites have to be not only eye catching and attractive but the information has to be presented perfectly for the target audience. The usability of a site is even more important. Broken links, slow loading pages, hidden next steps are all fatal. The user will just click away and off to find an easier way to buy or source their product or information.

The first thing to do is think about what you want your visitor to do. Then work backwards through the process to make the journey as easy and rewarding for them as possible. The following are some common areas where usability problems can occur:

 

Navigation:

  • Keep navigation intuitive and where the user would expect it to be.
  • Label the navigation and drop downs with an expected term.
  • Use breadcrumbs
  • Always make the company logo in the header click back to the homepage.
  • If you are going to use a mega menu be sure it is laid out so users can still see where they want to go quickly.
  • Flat structure – should be only a couple of clicks to get the user where they want to be. Don’t bury products or content more than 3 levels deep. (Google might not see it either).

Bonus tip: Use onsite search in analytics to see what terms are used in the search function most. This will give you pointers on what people are not finding easily.

Appearance and layout:

  • Font size and style needs to be easy to read.
  • Pictures need to be of good quality especially if they are representing your products.
  • Avoid reams of text with no sub headings or bullets – people won’t bother to read it.
  • If you have buttons that you want your users to click – make them big and obvious. Eg: A ‘buy now’ button poorly placed and in grey faded text will not entice sales.

Checkout:

  • Keep the checkout as simple and quick as possible.
  • Provide options for delivery so people can choose a method and cost appropriate to their needs.
  • Provide all information on delivery costs, Vat, stock availability very prominent.
  • Enable auto fill and drop downs to speed up the process. E.g. on address and personal details sections.
  • Offer different ways to pay to be sure it is easy for everyone. Eg. Card, Paypal, Google checkout.

Further Information & Downloads:

  • If your customers will require downloads of any sort, place them on the relevant page not just in a downloads section.
  • Make your Terms & Conditions, privacy policy and full company details easily assessable from the footer of every page.
  • If you have user guides or supporting information for your products or services then make them easily available.

Online Forms:

  • For things like ‘contact us’ forms – make them as short as possible
  • Make only the very essential fields mandatory or people won’t want to fill them.
  • Allow auto fill where possible.

Our Usability Service

As part of your online strategy we will look at the usability factors on your site to assess any need for changes to any of the above. We can do this as a general report as part of our initial assessment of your website or we can provide a full usability testing service where we will have a number of users perform tasks on your site and comment on their findings.

These findings will be produced in the form of a video showing the tester go through the set tasks and their commentary of the problems they encounter. This will be backed up with a full written report with a list of suggested changes.

We can select user testers demographically and even request that they have experience in your industry sector.

Why not ring us for a no-obligation chat

Tell us what you want to achieve and we’ll tell you how we can make it happen. Telephone: 01793 766 040

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