Monthly Archives: September 2010
September 29, 2010–How effective is your website? In today’s New York Times, writer Frederic Lardinois from ReadWriteWeb talks about the various usability tests that are being used to provide companies with feedback on their websites. Clue and FiveSecondTest.com are just two of the online 5-second usability test services listed in the article that offer these type of tests to companies. There are dozens of other companies out there offering similar tests and many are free.
Why use the 5-second test or other usability tests? Websites costs thousands of dollars and having important information about your customer’s online experience can make the difference between gaining a customer or losing one. The test results will tell you what areas of your website need to be improved whether it is in the design, functionality or marketing message. How many sites have you visited that you left because it was difficult to navigate or the design was not what you expected? Did you go back? What about positive experiences online that made you a loyal customer? Did the website sell you on their products and services? That is the information you are looking for as a company.
Introducing New Web Designs or Products. If you haven’t launched your website and/or if you are introducing a new design or product then the usability test can be a great tool for you because you will know what your audience thinks before the public sees it. The results will clearly define your marketability and effectiveness before it is launched and give you a chance to make improvements where needed.
Improving Existing Websites. If you have already launched your website and just want information to improve the effectiveness of your website, these tools can be helpful as well because it will allow you insight into how your customers use your site and how you can organize or redesign it to meet their needs.
No matter what test you choose, there are 3 things you should consider before you begin:
1. Define exactly what you are testing. Do you want to know what people are searching for on your site? Do you want to know if people understand your new product or service? Do you want to know what people are buying online? It sounds simple but there are dozens of usability tests and knowing what results you are looking for will help you find the right test for your website.
2. Define your target. You have to define your target and confirm that the test is being given to people within that market otherwise you will not get the results you are looking for. For example, if you are testing your shopping cart on a group of people who work in the technology field versus your target which is not typically in the business then your results are going to be drastically different.
3. Prioritize your goals. What are your goals? Are you selling a product? Or, a service? Are there critical functions your customers need to perform on your site each day? How important are the design elements to your business? What are the 5 most important things you want your customers to know when they go to your website? Is your site organized in a clear, concise fashion that makes your customer’s online experience a positive one that keeps them coming back again and again?
If you would like to access the New York Times article, click here: http://www.nytimes.com/external/readwriteweb/2010/09/24/24readwriteweb-get-a-clue-what-do-people-remember-about-you-3556.html?src=me&ref=technology