What Is Usability Testing In Web Design?
Imagine it: you have a gorgeous-looking website with stunning pictures, quality content, and smooth animations. Anything points at it being a sure winner, yet your client comes back to you fuming: there are no sales, and people leave the website in a matter of seconds. You scratch your head: your magnum opus seemed perfect to you. A harrowing situation, isn’t it? And if you don’t ever want to experience it, read our introduction on what is usability testing in web design — and why does it matter.
What is usability testing in web design?
First things first: why do you need usability testing, and what is it exactly? Usability testing is basically a real-life test of your site by real people. Not the people who work with you or those who are versed in web theory. Just people who play the role of a typical visitor.
These people will help you test their reaction to your creation. How logical and easy is your navigation, how easy it is to achieve something — that kind of thing. You can give people tasks and analyze how easy it is to do them. Without usability testing, you can never be sure that your user experience is on a decent level.
You’re not smarter, but you know more than your visitor
You’re biased no matter how much time you dedicated to testing the site yourself. You know what to do, unlike a chance visitor who has to find a search bar alone. For proper testing, you have to entrust people outside of your group of developers, designers, and marketers.
Thanks to usability testing, you’ll quickly find and squash any bugs or usability problems and create a site with easy navigation.
You’re biased. Trust the others
If you care about what you do, you develop a particular affection for your work. Your creation might seem pretty great from where you’re standing, but this “tunnel vision” will blind you and create problems in the long run. Without user testing, you won’t uncover real issues until way too late — don’t let it come to that.
Don’t mix usability testing with A/B testing
Testing is extremely important for any kind of development, and there are different kinds of testing. There’s A/B testing, which helps you find the right approach to pursuit, but it doesn’t observe user behavior. Surveys are good and very similar, but when you ask people for their opinion, you don’t actually witness them in action, making it less helpful. And, once again, no matter how often you test the site in-house, those results will never be enough due to the in-depth knowledge of the designers.