You may have some data on your users already but don’t understand why certain things are happening. For example, your Google Analytics shows your customers dropping off at a certain point in the process and you want to know why. This is where usability testing can help. So when you don’t have the time or money to dedicate to traditional usability testing methods, here are 3 simple things you can do today with minimal effort to get started!
Remote Usability Testing
Peek allows you to get feedback from a real user in the form of a 5 minute video. You can test websites on desktop, or mobile and even apps and you get up to 3 free videos per month.
Once you’ve submitted your website or app for testing, generally, you will receive a video within a day, consisting of the testers’ thoughts and reviews of the site. The standard 3 questions that testers answer are:
- What is your first impression of this web page? What is this page for?
- What is the first thing you would like to do on this page? Please go ahead and try to do that now.
- What stood out to you on this website? What, if anything, frustrated you about this?
Peek is a great way to get a first impression test and to see if your product’s core message is easily understood.
Other platforms that you can try as well:
Recording Site Visitors
Here at Askable, we use Hotjar which records visitors that visit your site as short videos with tags that represent mouse movement and mouse clicks. On top of that they also provide mouse movement / click heat maps and scrolling heat maps.
Even though this would really be considered usability testing it’s a great way of remotely reading what your participants may be trying to achieve when they land on your site. It’s almost like watching someone over their shoulder where you can more often than not tell what someone is trying to achieve. So when you can see frustrated mouse movements, pinpointing where in the recordings that is happening can help you come up with assumptions and ideas for improving your site’s experience.
Other platforms to try out:
Internal Usability Testing
What I’ve mentioned so far are what’s called unmoderated usability tests that are are fast and require minimal effort to set up and get running but it does mean that you can’t ask follow up questions and participants may misunderstand or misinterpret tasks as well. So the usability testing that you’ve probably heard of where you get participants in to your office for a one on one session is called a moderated usability testing. In this setting it’s much easier to clear up misunderstandings and ask follow up questions.
I know it can sound like a hurdle because now you need to write the test, organise and schedule participants to test with and then have time to do the tests; but you can make a start by testing internally with people that have little involvement with the project your testing. They could be someone from a different team or new hires or interns and is an awesome way for you to get a fresh pair of eyes over the product in an environment that you’re familiar with.
These don’t have to be formal – they can be a quick:
“Hey, can you have a play around and let me know what you think it’s meant to do?” or
“Hey, this is a site that’s meant to do X, can you go ahead and try to do that?” and then you can watch them try to complete a task while asking them to talk out loud about what they’re thinking, what they’re looking at and what they’re about to do.
There you have it – 3 simple ways to dip your toe into usability testing to start understanding why your customers are not being able to complete tasks that they would like to.