Usability is the ease with which a task can be done. The task could be anything from using a machine, browsing a website or using application software. Website usability is very important as there are so many websites catering to the similar needs and if the website is not user friendly then people will move to next website.
Usability Testing is the technique which helps in evaluating a website and checks the user friendliness of website. Now, look at the below step by step procedure to test a website.
Step 1- Defining the metrics
The first step is to define the metrics according to which a website needs to be tested. The top three indicators which you will use are Effectiveness, Efficiency and Satisfaction. Task analysis is also a part of this and measures the usability of a website on task completion rate and time spent on task.
Step 2- Test Type Identification
The next crucial step is to identify the type of test that you need to conduct on your website and it is directly linked to the tasks defined in the previous step. The following three types of test are most common:
- Card Sorts: It is one of the easiest tests to be performed. It matches the mental model of a user with the website architecture and processes.
- Field Studies: During this test you go to the user location and see the how the users are browsing your website and collect feedback from them about the website.
- Eye Tracking: These studies are done to check where a user is looking while browsing the website and what their priorities while doing so are. It helps you in removing the irrelevant content from the website.
Step 3- Finding Valid Participants for Testing
The next big task is to find the valid participants who are very similar to your users for testing the website so that you can get the accurate results. You can also internally test your website but external testing has more credibility. You have to incentivize the external participants so that you can garner them in big numbers.
Step 4- Deciding Time, Location and Individual
Now you have to decide where you need to conduct this test and where. It can be done remotely as well as in your premises. You can have a moderated testing or else the end-user can handle it himself. In case of moderated testing you have more control over it.
Step 5- Review and Repeat
It means that the process of testing is never over and you have to constantly keep updating the website and then repeat all of the above steps to keep your website relevant and up to date. When you get the results then you need to review and implement the feedback received.
If your business has an online presence then website usability is one of the important tasks that you need to perform on a regular basis. It will help you in keeping your website relevant, up-to-date and in demand always.