library meetups

Meetup 5: Live Web User Testing and UX Recommendations

Why you should run regular usability tests on your (or your client’s) website

A user test or (usability test) involves observing someone using your website and noting any issues that arise.

They are an incredibly powerful technique to get deep, granular insights into your page elements, copy, site structure, web features, etc. and identify how users interact with them and if they use them as was originally intended.

User testing not only improves the user experience of your website but essentially helps users move through your conversion funnel.

User Testing as a tool of Conversation Rate Optimisation

“Your Conversation Rate represents the percentage of your visitors who end up reaching a given goal”

CRO is the process of pulling together all the available tools, techniques and skills with the goal of improving a website’s conversion rates. It’s a series of strategies and activities that allow you to achieve a significant increase in profits from your website.

CRO process constitutes a search for a perfectly designed page to generate more sells, or get signups, or downloads, or whatever the page is for.

User Testing as one of the CRO tools uncovers site issues or potential improvements and A/B testing allows you to carry out tests to confirm or disconfirm prior hypotheses.

The term CRO was coined by Dr. Karl Blanks and Ben Jesson, Founders of Conversion Rate Experts. ‘Making Websites Win’ is highly recommended for everyone who is serious about improving any websites.

Now, let’s get to our 2 brief User Tests

Our setup was quite atypical. We didn’t separate participant from the observation group and we only used one participant to test the site.

Generally, it’s recommended to test at least 3 participants trying to accomplish 3 to 6 of the same tasks. The number of tasks depends on the web site and what you trying to test.

Observation group and participants need to be separated in order to avoid any external influence and distractions.

Task 1- First Impressions

We tried to get participant’s first impression of the site, i.e. whose site it is, what can be done on the site, what it is for, what is interesting about the site.

Task 2 – Specific Task

You’re a member of ANZ bank and have a credit card. You have accumulated a significant number of rewards points.

In your ANZ account dashboard, you see options to choose how you spend your points. You see a voucher to donate $100 worth of your points to a charity of your choice and you click on it.

You get an email from ANZ bank to complete your purchase. You clicked on the link and you landed on Points4Purpose website. Proceed from there to donate your voucher to a charity of your choice.

Task 1- First Impressions

Task 2 – Donate your points to a charity of your choice

Key Takeaways: 

  • Confusion regarding the main navigation bar.
  • Long paragraphs tend to be scanned or skipped completely.
  • Missing a clear value proposition.
  • Through the donation process, some steps were not understood right away or were not considered completed.

Quick Fix Solutions:

  • Use a single horizontal bar for all main options including “sign in” and “register”.
  • Instead of writing long paragraphs either make the content easier to read by separating every 1-2 sentences or add visual elements to clarify the content.
  • Focus on benefit-oriented headline and content that states “why” should visitors engage with the product, what’s in it for them, and why they should choose you.
  • Make sure that the most important final steps are visually dominant and stand out from the rest.

Task 1: First Impressions

The user is asked to give their first impressions on the home page. 

Task 2: Specific Task – You are a Principal

You are a principal in a school in Sydney and you looking for a motivational speaker for students that are about to finish high school. Your budget is $1,500. Find and book your favorite to appear at your school on the 15th of March at 9 am, for 50 students.

Task 3: Specific Task – You are a Motivational Speaker

You’re contracting motivational speaker and enjoy the flexible schedule that allows you to run your workshops anywhere in New South Wales at any time. You offer a 3-hour workshop for high school students (years 10 to 12) at the price of $2,000. You would like to find more work through RedBridge Education. What would you do?

Task 1: First Impressions

Task 2: Find and Book a Supplier


Task 3: Sign Up

Key Takeaways: 

  • Repeated images for different options. The text over pictures is not visible without further inspection.
  • Confusing search functions on the home page for Services as well as Locations.
  • Duplicate images for listings make the selection process more complicated and descriptions are vague and impersonal.
  • Any error messages lead users to believe the site as a whole is not fully functional. These kinds of errors result in drop-offs and loss of credibility.
  • Confusing form field descriptions.

Quick Fix Solutions:

  • Use a variety of relevant pictures that better describe what each section is about. Content on pictures should always be easily readable. Add contrasting background color under the text.
  • By allowing plurals and misspellings in Search feature enable users to carry on their task without getting stuck. Add “Did you mean..?” feature. Location search could be improved by Intuitive Search or Autofill or Location suggestions.
  • Create more engaging listings. Each listing should have a unique image, a name of the speaker or service provider and a standardized description.
  • Every feature or link on the site must be functional. It’s always worth the time to double check all possible errors rather than losing potential customers.
  • Where needed add “i” to form fields that would provide a further explanation of what is expected, especially when form fills are required.

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