User experience design (UX, UXD, UED or XD) is the process of enhancing user satisfaction by improving the usability, accessibility, and pleasure provided in the interaction between the user and the product.
“5% of users will uncover approximately 80% of all problems” – Nielsen Norman Group
Usability testing is the ability to evaluate your current UX Design by testing it against real users of your product. “UX Design” is the user-experience focused design which helps your visitors have a good experience on your website and achieve their goals.
Usability testing allows you to validate how well your design worked. For example, was the user able to reach their end goal of making a purchase, signing up for a service, or downloading a whitepaper? This process lets you see opportunities to improve the design and gain insight into the user’s experience.
With the ability to test this way, input comes directly from your users, it provides concrete data for design changes – not opinions.
You save development time and hours by catching issues in the design phase before advancing too far in the development stage. This leads to positive ROI.
How Usability Testing for UX Design Works
With numerous things to test for, from navigation (menu, sidebar, footer, and hyperlinks) to display (colors, fonts, and overall layouts), to content and interaction (goals & task flow, buttons & window feedback, as well as visual hierarchy), your user’s experience can easily be measured.
There are three roles within usability tests: Facilitator, Observer, and Participant. The Facilitator leads the user testing sessions with participants, plans the test, analyzes results, generates outcomes and reports, issues the test, and guides it along. The Observer is the person looking from the outside in, they observe the actions of the participant, and keeps records so the facilitator can focus on leading the test. The Participant is the actual user.
Participants should be selected across various factors, ranging from very familiar with your product to not familiar at all, different personas, interests, hobbies, and overall experience. By having a range of personalities for your users, all looking at your website with a unique point of view, you’ll be able to determine the majority of the problems. These tests will most likely result in multiple instances of the same issues, allowing you to prioritize which issues to tackle first.
When developing your website, a focused and carefully planned usability testing study allows for a fresh perspective and point of reference for what your clients really want. Not only does this save you money at the outset of the design, but also, it helps improve your website’s ROI.
Advanta has experience with the creation and execution of a variety of market research studies including focus groups, telephone studies, one-on-one interviews, and online surveys. Contact us today to find out what the first 80% of your website user experience issues are (and we’ve got the expertise to tackle that last 20%, too)!