Wednesday 9 November 2011 - Filed under Usability News
User centred design is a relatively new concept. Traditionally the focus has always been put on User requirements and their use of the products themselves. The marketing side of projects has always been left to the marketing department.
This is where User Testing or Usability Testing as its sometimes known comes into play. At Testing User Marketing and Usability are treated as pretty much the same thing because we recognize that if you conduct testing it should ultimately address as many of your business concerns as possible.
With e-commerce were essentially talking about sales, but web sites commercial or not must all achieve their objectives in getting the User to do what you want them to. This can be anything from filling in a subscription form or picking up the phone to contact you for prices.
From our experience with previous clients up to 72% of potential online sales are slipping through the e-commerce net due to bad usability.
This statistic still shocks me today but finding the right solution to your Usability issues requires an understanding of e-commerce trading.
Here at Testing User we do.
- The importance of a ‘clean’ checkout experience to maximise conversions and sales.
- The demand users have for ‘shopping mall’ style websites.
- An intelligent search or filtering function is essential.
- Recommended product displays can cross sell your products very effectively.
- The importance of easy to use navigation buttons.
From past tests carried out on E-commerce sites I can safely say that most of the design and interface changes can be made relatively easily. The most common usability issues I have encountered when doing testing are.
- Poor homepage layouts that don’t give off a very good ‘first impression’
- Poor information displays leading to ‘bounce rates’ where users simply close the browser and look elsewhere.
- Poor branding. I have conducted testing on several sites which despite well designed logos and artwork fail to tell the user what products they sell and where to search for them.
- Inadequate product information where listings have a only product code next to them and no description of the goods.
- To many exit paths at crucial stages like the checkout.
The above are just to name a few. Every website we conduct Testing on is at a different stage of Usability. Most clients have never conducted User Testing before but recognize it as a priceless asset for gaining insight into User Behaviour and motives.
Some though are sceptical about what they get from Usability Testing, either from a bad experience with another product or they just don’t think that the price other services charge is justified.
The feedback most clients give us is that they don’t believe other services like video testing can really give usable feedback unless large testing panels are used. One video is one persons opinion and at an average of $40 per video clients are asking is it really worth it?
Clients looking to experiment with Usability want an overview. They want a large testing panel. They want value for money.
What they don’t want is an overprices service that can give a lot of meaningless data that they then have to analyse and present to their management themselves.
The experience we have gained has led us to develop the Testing User analysis. A 30-page board room ready presentation highlighting your Usability strengths and weaknesses in a clear and excellent value for money package that includes competitor analysis.
No in house Usability expert is necessary, neither do you have to devote time directing us exactly what to do. Once you purchase we do the rest.
2011-11-09 » admin