Usability testing is the best way to find out if your site is effective – that is, will it work with real users and help you achieve your online goals. Watching real users interacting with a site or app (both in development and live) is the best way to understand the issues that interfere with a good user experience; it also forces those with responsibility for the site or app to ‘walk in the users’ shoes’ – often an unsettling experience!
Facilitating usability testing can be a daunting prospect. How can I get through all these tasks, stay on time and listen to what the tester is saying?
I recently took a trip onto the Zara website. It is a trip I take often, but sadly, never without frustration. I was looking for a dress for an event that I was attending. With clear goals of my own in mind, I realised how hard it actually was to achieve these goals quickly and seamlessly.
The UK is a wonderfully diverse and multicultural place. As much as 8% of the UK population, some 5.3 million people, report their first language is not English.
Within the UX world, more and more technologies are emerging that measure users’ physiology to gain a deeper understanding of their thoughts and emotions. These include measuring heart rates, sweat gland activity and even brainwaves. One example is facial recognition software. By people in the know it is described as the ‘systematic analysis of facial expressions’. To everyone else it means using a computer to understand someone’s emotions by reading their expressions.
There are many different ways to approach usability testing these days… lab-based testing, online surveys, field research and self-videoing testing to name just a few. While all have their place in the UX world, you need to consider carefully which methodology you choose. Pick incorrectly and you are likely to end up with low-quality insights and wasted time and money.
The number one piece of advice we can give anyone embarking on a user research project, is for you and your colleagues to watch it live, as it happens.
“We need more research now, not less”. These are the words of the leading UX consultancy Nielsen Norman Group (NNg). As UX insight specialists we obviously agree with these sentiments. NNg comments “Lots of teams have decided to hold off on doing previously planned research projects, but I believe this is a time for more research, not less. User research is a form of risk reduction, and the greater the risk (for example, because of rapid change), the more you need that risk reduced.”
Since lockdown began, the UK has seen a 200% increase in online sales in the home and leisure sector.Spending on media and entertainment, home & garden, health & beauty, pet care and home office supplies has clearly been keeping many of us busy and helping many businesses to keep going in challenging economic times.