Continued from: ’6 Tools for Optimizing Website Conversions’
In order to improve the performance of your website, you need to understand how people are using it. Usability testing is a way to evaluate how easily users can accomplish a given task on a device. In a usability test, a subject is asked to complete a task, typically while being observed by a researcher, to uncover potential user problems. The subject is asked to talk through the thought process out loud while completing the task so that the researcher can understand the subject’s actions. The researcher carefully watches the subject’s actions and listens to the monologue. As the famous researcher Margaret Mead once said, “What people say, what people do, and what they say they do are entirely different things.”
Usability testing is especially important for websites. Your overall website performance will be determined in part by its usability; in order for visitors to convert on your website, they need to be able to easily navigate to your conversion pages. In addition, people will enjoy using websites that are intuitive and easy to navigate, but will discontinue using websites that are confusing. If you notice that users are sidetracked on your website, or are not using it the way you intended, you may need to address some underlying usability issues. A website usability test can confirm that a problem exists so that you can solve it quickly.
Fortunately, there are a number of companies that can help you assess your website’s usabilty. Here are five great website usability testing tools:
1. What Users Do
What Users Do is an online user research platform that tests various assets, including your website, prototype, or app. You can set the task you want users to perform, select test subjects from a pool of prospective users, and receive a video of users performing the task. In the full version, you can get help from the What Users Do user experience team to design, perform and analyze your usability test.
2. User Zoom
User Zoom is a company that provides usability and customer experience evaluations, including web remote usability testing, prototype and concept testing and mobile surveys. A team of UX experts can help you conduct your research, from prospecting clients and managing participation incentives to conducing your test and analyzing your test results.
3. Usability Tools
Usability Tools is a suite of multiple tools that are typically offered separately. The UX Suite is designed to improve user experience. It includes web testing for improving usability and navigation, surveys to engage users, click testing, and more. The Conversion Suite is designed to optimize the website for higher conversion, and it includes a feedback form, click tracking (Heatmaps), form tester and visitor recording to capture mouse moves and keystrokes.
4. User Testing
User Testing is an online service that provides recordings of real people and their commentary while using the website. You can select the demographic and the specific areas of the website you want analyzed. This tool employs a process that uncovers weak areas of your website.
UsabilityHub is another tool to test your designs and mockups on real users. This tool shows visitors’ interactions on your website, what they remember and where they make mistakes. This tool can also be used before your website goes live.
Depending on the complexity of your task and the amount of hands-on help you need designing your test and analyzing the results, any one of these services can provide you with the insights necessary to improve your website’s usability and start converting more customers.