The user experience is critical to sales, traffic and return visits. Usability testing for websites incorporates many of the same theories as in software testing. Does it work? Is it confusing to use? With websites, competition is one click away. Therefore, with an eye on the user’s search experience, we evaluate if their needs were met. In addition, our approach to this work is to teach the value of overall planning and organization before, during and after a website is built. This allows modifications and enhancements based on user feedback, traffic logs and other usage data.
All usability testing is based on cognitive walk through and heuristic evaluations for standard website elements. Tasks are assigned based on needs assessment. Each step in a task is documented and recorded in the final report. The “user character” profile is of a first-time visitor, new to online research and purchasing, and who is somewhat familiar with the Internet. Website organization and navigation are key test areas as well as the overall user experience.
- Test the user experience through the eyes of a trained search engine optimization specialist. (Did they find it under what it is optimized for?)
- Assess user satisfaction with keyword searches. (How and where was it found?)
- Assess user satisfaction in an affiliate website link to home base website scenario
- Usability test front-end user interface on Review, Research and Reserve applications
- Overall usability cognitive walk through and heuristic evaluation including browser and resolution checks
- “Backwards documentation” of website business objectives based on new user perception. (Compare with your business and/or functional website specifications.)