UX test - The perfect way to test the usability of a project

Usability test UX

A UX test, otherwise known as a usability test, is a way to test your website or other interactive product. Thanks to it, the company and designers can not so much develop the product itself, but adapt it to the real needs of users. The UX test is used to discover them, select them, name them and apply them in the design of the work in the following stages.

Table of Contents

UX test and website usability - What does it give?

The level of usability of the website should be as high as possible. Given that every group of people is different, and a site should often look different depending on who it is aimed at, you need to know its future users. If we have carefully selected them, we are only one step away from designing the site. However, we can only do this when we receive specific, measured in natural conditions, data on habits, preferences and reactions. The ux test allows us to do this through proven research methods that interactive agencies have been using for years.

Wdrożone wnioski z testu użyteczności ux, zwiększają satysfakcje użytkownika
The purpose of the usability test is to increase satisfaction with the use of the product (most often in the sense of an IT product).

So to sum up the thought, the UX test gives a greater satisfaction to the user and a match to his preferences. These aspects, in turn, are expected to result in an increase in the conversion rate, an increase in traffic to the site, as well as the amount of time spent on it. All this, as a consequence, is expected to translate into profit for the company and business results visible soon after the implementation of the conclusions and conclusions of the utility test.

Relationship between UX test and sales or other type of conversion

Before a company invests in a ux test, they want to know the effects associated with the cost incurred. It is worth paying attention to the fact that we should decide on the usability test only in a situation where we have the opportunity to implement the conclusions resulting from it. A website usability study or audit only gives us feedback, the implementation of which will cost us additional resources and time. The good news is that the capital invested should return in the form of user satisfaction, more subscriptions to the newsletter, the size of the baskets, the value of the orders or other goals that the company wants to reach. However, investing in tests to stop there can be a mismatch. If we have a choice and a limited budget, the better choice would be to invest in a cheaper research method, but to leave the door open to put the conclusions into practice. Only action brings effect.

The effect of good usability and changes can be seen mainly in online stores, where changes translate directly into sales. Users in online stores have to perform many complex actions starting from searching for a specific product, filtering, sometimes color configuration, placing an order, ending with making a payment. Each of them involves a certain effort, too much effort of which can end in losing motivation, not being able to move on to the next stage, or simply abandoning the page. The task of the designer and researchers in this situation is to increase the positive feelings associated with the store enough so that the user goes from step to step efficiently and with satisfaction making a purchase.

A store that has a high bounce rate or a low cart value is a perfect example of user experience demand. Carrying out a usability test and putting the conclusions into practice, due to improvements in product placement and site structure, should visibly translate into sales and profits for the company.

How to conduct a UX test? - Explore the possibilities of individual methods

There is no one-size-fits-all method to run a UX test correctly. But there are a few selected over the years. Each of them under certain conditions, industry, company and appropriate budget has the chance to deliver reliable results, which are a huge added value to the company. What methods are these? We tried to select a few of them.

Usability tests - The most popular method

Let's start with task-based usability tests, which are currently considered the most common and well-known method. Depending on the interactive agency, alternate names are also used, but the most important thing is to know the process itself. It consists in the fact that the users selected in advance in the recruitment process receive specific tasks to perform in connection with the website or online store. In the next phase, the respondent describes his experience (sometimes he does it during the study), and the whole thing is often recorded. This allows researchers to re-analyze the material after it has been made.

Resources needed: Program for recording the course of the study, computer, camera and a separate room in the office

Duration: usually 30 to 60 minutes

Preferred number of participants: 5 - 10 people from one target group

The programs mentioned are most often Silverback, Morae or Camtasia Studio.

An example of such a test may be when a researcher instructs the subject to find a specific product in an online store. The respondent later makes specific movements, directs the mouse intuitively to the given places and performs the actions in their own characteristic way. During the task, the time of the consumer's journey is measured, his movements are recorded, as well as each reaction, in order to later modify the product. The improved version should reduce the amount of problems of the consumer and bring him to the goal faster.

We also mentioned that the study participant can talk aloud about their experiences while performing tasks. Technically, this way of conducting a usability test is called protocol of thinking out loud. However, it is often necessary to approach the subjective opinion of the user with a distance, since he can not always recognize the real problems that he encounters.

Usability testing (UX) is, according to most researchers, the most effective way to analyze the real use of an interactive product by a user. It is also safe to say that these studies are often included in the budget of companies in the SME sector. They are done either on the landing page or online store, but it is equally good to test on mock-ups, prototypes and mockups. Learn about the types of UX tests mentioned!

  • Test 5 seconds
  • Benchmarking and performance measurement
  • Mobile tests
  • Tests on various types of prototypes and mock-ups
  • RITE (rapid iterative test and evaluation)
  • Co-discovery learning
  • Coaching method

Remote evaluation studies - Distance does not have to be an issue

Both UX usability testing and eyetracking are methods whose use requires the physical presence of the researcher and the subject. This entails higher costs and commitment to the organization of recruitment, the research process and the analysis of the results. An alternative to these UX evaluations is to conduct remote research.

Sometimes the implementation of remote research is a necessity in the case when, after a meticulous recruitment, it turns out that people live in different locations. It may also turn out that the deadlines for carrying out the mentioned usability tests do not suit anyone. Then the researcher guides the user using communication tools. What kind of tools are they?

  • Skype
  • Google Hangouts

It is worth remembering that this type of UX research should have one main goal, a limited number of tasks that the user has to perform. Let's avoid biased questions, and before the start, conduct a soft launch (test whether the questions and content are understandable to a limited group of friends, for example).

Depending on which type of test we choose in this case, we will have to apply other techniques.

Moderated - The researcher observes the behavior of the subject in real time being aware of the process. This avoids the risk that the conditions will be inappropriate, the respondent scattered, and the results inadequate to the real situation.

Unmoderated - The case in which the subject gets a finished interactive product and the tasks associated with it. He must then complete the recommended tasks and most often fill out an additional survey. Researchers must give the subjects a lot of trust, since they have no control over the course of the activity itself and cannot ask any follow-up questions in the process. Control and conducting such studies are facilitated by the following tools: UserZoom, Uxeria, Loop II, Usability Tools.

If we give the test subject a ready-made interactive product, connect it to monitoring programs as well. An excellent complement to the data you have and the opportunity to look at the whole from a broader perspective will be the use of Google Analytics.

Eyetracking - Works not only on the big screen!

Eyetracking is a method that is most often associated with something mystical. A technique that arouses a lot of curiosity, because it gives the impression of being very modern. Rightly so, but it is used not only when writing and directing screenplays. It is perfect for researching interactive products, if of course we have thought about the purpose of using it.

There are several types of such research, and the most commonly used are tasks and free-viewing of the user. The first type gives the researcher some authority over the entire process and user direction. During the test, the so-called fixations are analyzed, that is, the moments when the user stopped his gaze on a given element.

The data collected in this way creates an opportunity to select AOI, i.e. points of interest of the consumer. Finally, a heat map is created, which indicates to the researcher specific guidelines regarding the subpages, the structure of the website or the web application. During such a study, a huge amount of data is also obtained on the very speed of movement of vision from place to place, the path of vision, direction and even spatial density.

Unfortunately, this is not only the most spectacular method, but also difficult to access. The use of equipment, the great involvement of researchers and the need to organize the premises with the right amount of time is a considerable investment. It is used by companies that hope to achieve a clear goal with the help of this research. Moreover, they must be sure that this objective is worth the costs incurred in this case.

Web Usability Research - The Most Common Mistakes

UX evaluation and website usability research require a professional approach and people with experience. The most common mistakes in this area relate to the lack of sufficient commitment in terms of recruitment, conditions or premises.

  • Hasty recruitment, in which people who are not matched to the target group are selected
  • Lack of organization of suitable conditions for the study and a large number of unnatural distractors coming from outside (eg from the office next door)
  • Relying on a subjective, single opinion and lack of an element of data analysis by several researchers after the study

The perfect time for a UX test - Is there a “right time”?

The good news is that there is practically always an item on a website or store that can be improved at any given time. Considering the constant change in the prevailing trends in design, it is safe to say that there is no need to wait with the decision on the UX test. Conducting it earlier will give the opportunity to more quickly analyze the results, implement conclusions and work out the results in the form of more orders or other desired actions in the interactive product.


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