Brief Guide to Website Usability Testing
Website Usability testing is usually carried out by web developers during the beta testing phase of the web development process, that is in the post-development testing phase. This process helps in making the website more optimized for usage by the target audience. When a developer does not perform the usability testing, chances are that his/her website ranks lower in the search engine results.
Several aspects are associated with running a website. Website usability is one of the crucial parameters that a developer must take into consideration while preparing to design a new website.
Understanding Website Usability
Website usability denotes how easy it is to use a particular website. A good website usability level generally signifies an intuitive interface. A good web designer will always make sure that he/she designs an intuitive interface so that the customer/visitor can easily navigate through the various functions of the website.
It is crucial to perform website usability testing before a web developer decides to make the website available to public use.
Importance of Website Usability Testing
The first question that will arise in a developer’s mind while investing in website usability testing is why is usability testing important? The importance of usability testing, which is at the core of website development process lies in the following parameters.
- Prioritize particular Elements/Functions on a Website: The website usability testing process will help the developer prioritize his/her website’s functionality easily. Website developers can prioritize and put all the functions into a definitive easy-to-navigate panel for the website’s visitors after performing the usability testing.
- Facilitates Optimization: The testing process will help the developer in the optimization of the entire website. He/she can focus on integrating cookie and cache files at specific locations on the websites for providing a better user experience. The testing process will also clearly define the memory which he/she needs to allot to specific web pages on the website.
- Adds to the Effectiveness: The process will help the developer in increasing the effectiveness of the website to convey specific information in an intuitive manner. On increasing the efficiency of the website, the developer automatically increases the customer acquisition and retention rates.
Benefits of Website Usability Testing
- Allows the developer to make changes in the interface of the website at an early stage
- Marks the various places within the website interface where optimization is required.
- Helps the designer build an intuitive interface for the website.
- Forms an important part of website testing and gives quantifiable statistics for the same.
- Helps increase the website usage efficiency as well as user retention.
- Generates more ad revenue by engaging users into an intuitive and stark interface.
Popular Website Usability Testing Methods
Here are the most popular methods that web developers use to carry out the testing effectively.
Focus Group Interviews
When a developer hosts a new website, he/she can conduct a focus group interview to assess its website usability statistics. He/she can easily calculate the ease of use by asking the people to perform a certain task on the website and noting down the amount of time taken by them to successfully complete the task.
This is one of the most effective methods of testing since it simulates the real-time usage statistics of the website in a controlled environment.
Rapid Prototyping testing method should be used along with automated testing as well as focus group interview testing methods for the right results. In this method, the developer creates multiple functional prototypes of the website and hands it over to the testing audience one by one. The process will automatically bring out the best prototype at the end of the test.
A developer can use one or more of these methods to make sure that his/her website has good website usability statistics and it ranks higher in any search engine’s search results.
William B. Young
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