Unlike interviews and focus groups, during which participants talk about how they worked with the site or mention their own preferences, a well-conducted usability test can measure how users are meeting the site's most important goals. If the user can't decide how to complete their order, for example, comments like "But I really like the site" don't matter.
Where to start?
Before you begin the usability test on your site, you need to identify your target audience. They can consist of one or more user groups. For example, a simple site may have user content and a separate login area for administrators. These two groups of users will perform different tasks as part of their daily interaction with the website. Each of the two groups should be given different tasks to perform during the test and to reflect the different patterns of use.
How to create a usability test?
Typically, during a usability test, participants are asked between 5 and 10 tasks to complete within 90 minutes. Tasks should be linked to the most important user goals (such as recovering a forgotten password) or the most important goals in terms of increasing the number of conversions (such as completing an order).
It is important to define a criterion by which you will measure the success of the tasks, such as:
"Participants should load the following website www.domain.com/purchase-success and report if they think they have successfully completed their order."
Conduct a usability test
During the test itself, the interviewer asks the participant the tasks one by one. An example task is “Find out how to contact the technical support team.” The participant should try to complete the task without additional instructions, and the interviewer should follow the same scenario when explaining the tasks to individual participants.
In addition, during the task, the interviewer may ask the participant to speak aloud, so that his way of thinking and making decisions will become clearer.
Usability test analysis
During the usability test, you can use software to record not only the screen, but also the voice and expressions of the participants. This software can make it easier to track user behavior, such as mouse clicks, opening and closing windows, the navigation path used to perform an action, and more.
After all participants have passed the test, the interviewer collects the data and identifies the problems, and of course makes recommendations for their elimination.
Usability testing should be done throughout the site design process. This way you will be sure that all the requirements have been met and that the final product obtained is of high quality.