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A new beginning for User Testing

Wednesday 5 October 2011 - Filed under Usability News

Most of the larger corporations have embraced User Testing as an ordinary phase of product development. For most businesses though or for those just looking to experiment with User Testing it has a bad image. By that I mean a variety of things, its either not contemplated, misunderstood, misrepresented or just seen as a necessary evil.

You might not have heard of Usability Testing but when web users say a site is User friendly most web designers would call this good Usability. User Testing is a process that provides genuine evidence through user feedback as to why people on your website do what they do. Its a method for gaining insight, valuable insight that can often answer the most asked questions and lead to most sought after advantages.

Now Usability Testing is much more than just discovering how effective your website is in achieving its goals. Also despite the fact that each and everyone of us would have their own opinion as to what this ‘good usability’ is, its often very difficult to define and put into context. I mean regardless of weather your a web designer or web user you would probably be able to identify a Usability as and when you came across it, but this isn’t enough.

For a website good usability is the most important feature second only to the quality of the product or service itself. Regardless of size most websites want to answer the most fundamental questions about users. Starting with the million dollar question. Why do users leave your website? This is too an important question not to ask.

For those who take it seriously User Testing can answer these questions. Whenever done specific issues are identified like how are effectively are users getting from A to B? How easy is to do the most simplest tasks on the website? How frequently are mistakes encountered and where? These questions are the User Testing basics but for quality testing the methodology must stand out from the crowd. It must be more comprehensive going that step further to paint a picture to the client of not only what their Usability issues are but what they’re up against.

Going back to the beginning of the article even the large corporations with budgets dedicated solely to Usability Testing often see it at best as a necessary evil. At the other end of the scale small business often see it as a no go area. Where has this bad image come from though?

Well at Testing Users we believe the Usability industry has been a bit lazy in bringing the products and services up to date. Were talking in terms of both quality and price.

User Testing should be at the point where budget web design and analytics were a few years. Remember when businesses were enlightened with web design, maintenance and analytics that just a few years before would have cost thousands in consultancy fees could now be obtained for a couple of hundred dollars. As you logged in to your account this data was now clear, detailed and well presented. It felt like money well spent. It felt like the power was back in your hands.

Usability products should be at this point. The products should be all encompassing but still good value for money.

The Testing User report is this product. Were making good value comprehensive Usability Testing available for all businesses small and large. The feedback we get comes in from clients running Ebay stores right up to Usability Engineers employed by the largest blue chip corporations. In general we get two schools of thought from these clients but they one thing in common. A frustration with the Usability products already out there.

Larger corporations who want to connect with their users are bored of being quoted tens of thousands of dollars for consultancy services. They want value for money like anyone else in business. On the other hand those in small business are frustrated with having to pay $50 per video test for one persons opinion other website. Both are bored with having to extract, quantify and analyze the data themselves.

Why has it taken the industry so long to deliver value for money?

Well the technology is there. You can take your pick from clever Video Testing, eye tracking and heat mapping services. This is the point that often goes unmentioned though. Not one Usability Testing method is proven to deliver definitive results to you the client. Including ours. It is theory based on opinion. Not fact based on theory.

That is what has led to the state where User Testing is seen as either a ‘necessary evil’ or ‘just not worth it’.

Now as was mentioned before we believe that good Usability Testing is second only in value to the quality of the product or service you provide.

The demand from business is for a complete, value for money solution. The Testing User report provides this. A comprehensive 30 page analysis report that gives you the overall picture of where your Usability strengths and weaknesses are. Complete, clear, board room ready and available for as little as $125, we take advantage of the latest survey technology to deliver you the Usability product you have been waiting for.

2011-10-05  »  admin



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