[MUSIC PLAYING] In this next module, we're going to talk about planning. Of course, everybody knows how to make a plan, but it's really important in usability testing because there are so many moving parts and pieces. Planning starts with really understanding why we're doing usability testing. So we start to ask a lot of questions. So we try to spend as much time in the planning phase as we can to get it right the first time.
To really understand what to test and how to test it, it starts by understanding the company. What are their goals? What are their objectives? I like to think of goals as what the company is trying to achieve and objectives as specific to that web property. What are you trying to do with the website? Are you trying to grow your sales online? Are you trying to attract new customers? Are you trying to expand your audience.
Understanding those objectives will allow us to understand what we're supposed to be testing for your site. So why are setting goals and objectives so important? Well, ultimately, they ensure your project has focus. Without goals and objectives, what are we working towards? So ask yourself the question, what are your goals and objectives? And then we'll try to satisfy them by conducting the right research on your website.
Once you've established your goals and objectives, then we just need to figure out what your research objectives are for usability testing. If your objective for your website was to increase sales, then obviously, one of our research objectives is to determine if your users can purchase. How clear is the purchase path? Are there any blocks in the way? Is there anything preventing them from converting?
Those are the main things that we want to figure out when we determine our research objectives. And for the same reasons why we establish goals and objectives for your company and your website, we want to establish research objectives specific to the project of usability testing. Another thing you want to consider with research objectives is, what are the outcomes? If the user passes or fails a specific task, will we learn the right thing from them.
What are the results that we want to achieve? What are those outcomes? That is important. Well, you know it was coming, but the next thing we really need to talk about is your audience and your user. Who are they? Where are they? How can we get to them? That's probably the hardest thing about doing usability testing, is getting the right person to answer the questions for you.
How do we do that? First, we need to understand who your audience is. We need to push on for them. We need to understand their demographics. Audience segmentation begins by dividing people into homogeneous groups, whether it be by demographic or psychographic quality, habits, motivations. We need to figure out who they are and set parameters around who they are.
There is no purpose to a usability test if you can't have your real users test, your interface. Once we've determined who your audience is, it's time for recruitment. We've got to get them to test your store, and we've got to bring them somewhere where they can do that. Whether your methodology is to do one-on-one moderated testing or an automated version, you still need to find those people and they need to fit that audience segment that you've determined.
So there are a few different ways to recruit. Recruiting methods start as easy as tapping into your existing customers. If you're already a merchant with a successful site, then you can ask those people to help you, especially if they're already advocates of your brand. The other way to recruit is to ask friends or people in your network, as long as you're concentrating on the audience segmentation and audience demographic that you've established.
Shopping around the idea of coming to see you and test your website is usually something a friend or colleague wants to do. They want to be helpful, but watch out for that familiarity factor. If someone knows who you are, they're going to be more biased. It's almost better to recruit strangers, and that's where the third method comes into play. There are companies that do recruiting all the time.
Recruitment firms could be your best bet in making sure that you get an unbiased audience that has never interacted with your brand. Otherwise, you'll have someone who has a preconceived notion of what your brand is and what the experience should be. All you need for a recruiter to get started is a definition of who the audience is and a target date of where and when they need to be there. The recruiter does the rest.
A lot of people ask me, how many people should I recruit? The more the merrier? Probably not, and let me tell you why. Research shows that the best results come from testing no more than five users. Five users will uncover 85% of the usability problems on your site. It doesn't get exponentially better beyond that. Six users, seven users, eight users really only fill in incremental percentages of the issues that are discovered.
We absolutely recommend five or six users for usability test on a specific set of tasks. That will uncover your best result and not take too long to do it. Five users can typically be done in one day. Once we figured out who your users are and we have a way to recruit them, we need to figure out what tasks they're going to perform.
Doing a usability test the right way means creating a set of task scenarios that are repeated by every single user. That creates a consistency and feedback that is unparalleled. Task scenarios are the action that you want your participant to take on your tested interface. Task scenarios provide a context to users that allow them to engage in your interface in a way that they're familiar with.
That's the value of taking the time in creating task scenarios. Focus on writing task scenarios that are realistic, encourage action, and don't give away how the interface is supposed to work. When you're ready to write your tasks scenarios take into account these three things. Make sure they're realistic and typical on how a user will use your website. Make sure that they encourage users to interact with the interface in a natural way.
And also make sure that the task scenarios aren't leading. Don't give away the answer. Don't give away the happy path through your interface. We want them to discover it on their own. [MUSIC PLAYING]