Customer engagement is a hot topic these days, according to digital customer experience trends. For long-term customer success, you need to design better products that reach more people.
That means the user experience is relevant for anyone with an online business. After all, better usability means a higher app retention rate.
Usability testing is how you test your product with real people.
As a method, it helps companies test the success of their design, raise their game, and keep their conversions healthy. This post will share how to perform usability testing on your enterprise website to fix issues and optimize your conversions.
Whether you’re evaluating the user experience of a new site before launch or upgrading an existing one, we’ve got you covered with principles and tricks you can use to find out what’s working and what’s not.
What is usability testing?
Usability testing is the process of evaluating your product by seeing how your end-users interact with your system while completing a list of tasks. You observe their interactions to see how usable your site is while noting areas for improvement.
It’s about understanding your product’s functionality and seeing if users can make intuitive sense of their experience of it. You then let the feedback guide you as to how you’re enabling users, further informing your design decisions.
Usability testing will help you understand problems that are negatively affecting conversions.
A case where usability went wrong was a problem in Myanmar when users couldn’t view the UI or content that used another standard for encoding and had to rely on converters from unicode to zawgyi to understand what international apps were saying. But that’s a low bar.
We can distill the issues that can concentrate the user experience down to three primary usability metrics. The effectiveness with which users can accomplish their goals on your website.
The best time to do usability testing is… anytime. It’s always good to know how usable your product is, whether before you start designing your current site or once you have a prototype ready, for example.
Usability testing helps you probe these indicators about what the user thinks and feels when they approach your site.
Once you’ve determined which metrics you’re using, you need to create task analyses.
Typically, a designer — with a deep understanding of app lifecycle management, for example — will start the ball rolling and walk UX researchers through the prototype.
They annotate assumptions and break down the complex interaction flow within business applications for UX researchers who facilitate testing sessions.
Task analysis involves breaking down your overarching goal into small steps. So as many as you need to achieve your objective and develop an idea of the path users take.
Use your task analysis to set the metrics you’ll use to benchmark effectiveness and efficiency — such as task completion rate and time spent on any given task. Typically, you build your task flow by laying out and connecting up shapes — diamonds for decisions and squares for the process.
Having built your task flowchart, it now functions as your guide for adjusting your metrics and conducting testing sessions.
Narrow down test type
Let’s suppose you’re a business that doesn’t need to ask, ‘what is SaaS marketing?’ because you’re serious about selling your products. You recognize that the user experience is about their interactions with your brand and your product.
Once you develop quality software, you know that differentiating yourself means showing how your product improves the lives or businesses of your customers. Well, how do you ensure it does exactly that?
That’s where usability testing comes in.
First, you need to identify the kind of usability test you should perform for your enterprise website.
Your choice will depend on the tasks you’re looking to measure and the metrics you’re using.
Let’s take a look at a few common use cases.
Card sorts are an early usability test. They enable tests to be conducted at speed and test how well users’ mental models match your site’s architecture.
However, because card sorts involve minimal user feedback, they’re not well-suited to testing other metrics like satisfaction and effectiveness.
Then there are field studies in which UX researchers embed and get users to walk them through how they interact with their UX implementations.
Also known as contextual inquiries, field studies are perfect for usability testing because they allow you to gain face-to-face feedback. While they let you take a deep dive into usability issues, they’re less time-effective.
Keep reading: Enterprise Usability Website Example & Guide- Agility CMS