[MUSIC PLAYING] Hi, everyone. My name's Matt Humphreys from Diff Agency. And I'm here to talk to you about usability testing. What's usability testing? How can it be used to make your web experience better and enhance the experience for your customers? That's what we'll be talking about in four succinct modules to help you make the right decisions for your store. First thing we want to make sure that we're aware of is you're not your user.
You are creating an experience for people that are going to be your customers. Those are the users that we're concentrating on. The methodology we take is called user-centric design. That has its foundations in a practice that we call user experience design. So the first thing we're going to talk to you about today is, what is user experience design and how can we help you understand what that is?
Loosely defined, user experience design is an experience designed for your users. The actual definition of user experience design is the process of enhancing user satisfaction by improving the usability, ease of use, and pleasure provided by the interaction between user and product. So it all starts by understanding the user needs and marrying that with your product objectives.
Most merchants just want to sell a product or service. So if we can understand what a merchant wants to achieve and pair that with what their users want to get out of the experience, that sweet spot is what we create, and it all starts with that. User experience design and the whole concept behind it came from the teachings of the Nielsen Norman Group. We look to Jakob Nielsen and Don Norman to really guide us in this space.
So a lot of what I'll be talking about will be information that I've garnered through studying those two gentlemen. The Nielsen Norman Group is the advocate of usability testing and user experience design, and we see a lot of great, best practices coming out of that group. To understand a little bit more about Jake Nielsen here's a quote that I found quite interesting from him. A beautiful interface to the wrong features will fail.
It doesn't matter how beautiful your user experience is if the findability, searchability, and discoverability isn't there. We have to make sure that users can navigate through your experience and achieve that pleasure and satisfaction at the end. That's what makes a great user experience. What makes a beautiful visual design is well-crafted, branded experiences, but user experience and the focus on that is what we're going to talk about today, and specifically, we're going to talk about usability.
So what is usability? You might ask. It's pretty simply defined. When we define usability, we look at five quality components, and let me take you through each one of those. The first is learnability. How easy is it for a user to learn how to accomplish a task on your site the first time they encounter it? That's learnability.
The second is efficiency. Once the users have learned the design, how quickly can they accomplish that task? The third is memorability. Once the users learned it, accomplish the task, and they go away for a few months, when they come back, did they remember how to do it the first time? Fourth quality component is errors. Errors are bound to happen.
This is one of the ones that I'm most passionate about. We know that people are going to invoke an error. It's inevitable. They'll forget to fill out a field. They'll click on the wrong button. They'll submit something before they were supposed to. How do we deal with those errors? That is one of the main things we look at when we evaluate usability of a system. The fifth quality component is satisfaction.
I already talked about satisfaction, pleasure, ease of use, that's really what it comes down to it. How happy is someone? How much emotion will they have after using your interface? How many people will they tell about how passionate they were about your product? That's satisfaction. The next topic I want to talk about is test early and test often.
Tests early and test often, to me, means that we should get to usability testing as soon as we can because the later you are in the process, the harder it is to fix a problem. That's why we want to test early and test often. Let me tell you a little bit about the studies that have been done about testing early and testing often. Studies show that one test with eight users will uncover a finite amount of issues, but one test with three users early and one test with three users at a later date will uncover nine problems.
This is just one prime example. Why is that right? Why does that makes sense? The test early and test often concept makes so much sense when you think about the issues that may have been blocking other issues. What you didn't uncover in one usability session are the things that were behind the blocks and the other problems that were uncovered. As soon as you uncover three or four issues, fix them, come back to the interface, you'll uncover another three or four that you didn't see there before.
That's why that's such an important thing to keep in mind and it's important concept. So why don't companies usability test? I get this all the time-- well, I can't do it. I don't have the time. I don't have the money. I don't have the resources. I don't have the expertise. The reason why you should be reconsidering those excuses is because the money you will save in the long run will greatly outweigh the expense at the beginning of a project.
Imagine you launch a website with one major issue that you didn't uncover when you were designing it and it blocks 20% of your sales from occurring. If only you would have done usability testing at the beginning of the project, you would have avoided that in its entirety. We're such large advocates for testing early in a process. So how do we usability test?
Well, there's so many different methodologies to follow. Usability testing can be as easy as showing a paper prototype to your friend. But today, I want to talk about the more complex methods. One of the methodologies that I want to talk about is focus group. That's something you're probably a little more familiar with than others. A focus group is when you bring a large group of people into a room and they talk about your process or talk about a brand or talk about an advertisement.
That's a focus group. Another methodology that we use for usability testing is one-on-one where a moderator, who is that person that conducts the test sits with a respondent, the person who is testing your interface. And they work together to test certain aspects of it. The moderator leads the respondent. The respondent gives feedback and talks out loud while they're doing it.
Another methodology we like to use is called remote testing. This makes the most sense when users are across the country or across the world. And the moderator doesn't need to get on a flight and go and visit them at their homes or places of business. A moderator is likely still involved in a remote test, but they're communicating via telephone or teleconference and still the same interaction between moderator and respondent occurs.
The moderator will lead the respondent through specific tasks that they need to accomplish to effectively test the user interface. The last method that I want to tell you about is called automated usability testing. The automated methodology is respondent only. It's the user sitting at home on their computer, getting directions from an application. A moderator likely still enters that information, the tasks that they need to accomplish, or the specific elements they need to review.
But the user can accomplish that usability test on their own at any point in time as long as they meet certain basic parameters based on demographics, psychographics, which we'll cover in another module. Some of the other methodologies that I like to look at can be a little more lean. You don't have to recruit someone, bring them in, have a conversation with them if you don't have the budget for it.
Some of the most valuable usability testing methods are something called a five-second test. What's the five-second test? When you take your design or you have your home page and you show it to a user for five seconds, and then take it away. Ask them what the site does, what it's for, what it's called.
If they can't tell you that story by looking at it in five seconds, you probably need to rethink the way that you're positioning your brand, positioning elements on the page in selling the concept of what you do. Another really valuable lean user testing method is called first click testing. First click testing exposes the user to navigation or another page on your site, and ask the user where would you click if you were looking for this?
If they can easily get to that location, then you're doing something right. Statistics show that the user who clicks down the wrong path is 52% likely to fail. So first click testing has a huge, huge value from a lean user testing methodology. A few other lean methodologies include concept testing and multivariate testing.
Sometimes you just want to show someone a couple ideas. If you can do that in a more formal way with some software applications that intersect real users coming to your site, say, for a redesign or a new page, that'll get real user data and feedback. Multivariate testing is an AB comparison of one way of doing something and another way of doing something.
The A and the B are shown to different groups of people that interact with your site. And the one that has more success, that has a higher conversion rate, will be the winner and will replace A. [MUSIC PLAYING]