Conversations on Website Conversion discussion

Don't Make Me Think > Chapter 9 - Usability Testing on 10 Cents a Day

Comments Showing 1-4 of 4 (4 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Diamond Website Conversion (last edited Aug 25, 2010 12:48AM) (new)

Diamond Website Conversion (diamondwebsiteconversion) | 78 comments Mod
The basic idea behind usability testing is to show a website to a potential user and ask them questions about what they think they’re seeing, and ask them to perform a typical task (such as locate a specific page or product).

While they try to use the page, you take note of what causes them problems, and makes them think. Then you try to eliminate ambiguities and distractions that cause problems in usability.

Although usability testing sounds like a very precise sort of science, which it can be, but you can also make it into something doable on a budget.

Krugg goes over the “half-off” style of testing in this chapter. Testing can be a lot less rigmarole and expense than you might at first expect. If you have a large family and a lot of friends, you may even be able to get away with it costing little more than your time!

Check out the side-by-side comparison chart on page 137. Which one of the elements in the chart most surprised you? Did this offer any de-mystification of usability testing for you? You can also take a peek at the chart on page 136—were you under any of those misconceptions?

message 2: by Marty (new)

Marty | 36 comments We do fall into the do-it-yourself type of testing. We've found it to be very effective. Asking friends, family and neighbors if they would be willing to spend some time with you performing some simple tasks, isn't hard to do - and you'll learn a great deal. My interest in usability testing is not to prove a theory, but to just get the websites of customers to be as easy on visitors as possible - therefore the do-it-yourself system works great for my needs.

I like to tape the sessions, that way I don't have to take such thorough notes.

The hardest part for me has been to not lead the user - it's very hard to just sit there and let them struggle - and it's even harder when they ask for help to not tell them what to do to resolve their problem - but letting them struggle and seeing what comes out of that is one of the biggest wins you get from usability testing.

message 3: by Shelby (new)

Shelby (shelbysanchez) | 52 comments Krug's DIY Usability Testing is so helpful. I think anyone can run these sessions and come away with great insights that’ll improve their site. Krug emphasized the importance to do some kind of usability testing especially prior to launch. You didn’t put up a site just for show, right? You want it to deliver the goods; tell your story, sell your product or service; in a way that’s meaningful and satisfies website visitors.

message 4: by Anne (new)

Anne | 51 comments Noting that focus groups differ greatly from website usability testing, was a breath of fresh air. And, explaining how they differ made me feel as though I had "Mad Men" tactics in mind for a modern day marketing problem. Website testing can be hands on and informal.
Really, the take away is that there is no excuse for not testing your website through each phase of design or redesign.

back to top