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Why is user testing so important?

September 14, 2021 / Reading Time: 4 minutes /
Emily Jones

You probably already know about the importance of testing your website across multiple devices and browsers, to iron out any issues especially post-launch, but have you ever considered including a round of user testing?

User testing (also known as usability testing) is a great way of seeing how your users interact with your website. Unlike user recordings, where we simply record the activity of users on a page, user testing involves recruiting testers through a screening process. Using a platform like TestingTime, you’re able to set specific requirements for your testers including age range, language, and gender, alongside a set of screening questions, to allow you to find testers that match your ideal target audience. 

Following the recruiting process, you then set your testers a series of tasks that relate to specific elements of your website that you’d like to test. For example, if you’re an eCommerce website, you might ask your testers to find a product, select their size and add it to their basket. 

User testing can also be moderated or unmoderated

So why is user testing so important and how can it be used post-launch for new websites, to ensure success? We’ve taken a closer look at some of the benefits of user testing. 

Fresh audiences who’ve never seen your website before.

One of the biggest reasons why user testing is so valuable is the fact that you get users, who have likely never visited your website before, providing feedback. As business owners or specialists, you’ve probably viewed your website hundreds if not thousands of times, which doesn’t make you the best person to provide feedback on improvements. You’re likely to miss something that your users won’t, and so getting “fresh eyes” on your website is absolutely key to ensure success post-launch.

“Real” website interactions from real users.

You don’t interact with your website in the same way that your everyday users do. You know your website inside and out. You probably don’t visit your ‘About’ page or read much of the content on your pages, because you know your business and you know where to locate certain pages on your website. Real users don’t, which means they’re interacting with your website in a completely different way than you do. 

User testing gives you front row access to real users, allowing you to observe and monitor how they move around your website. This is a key element in ensuring that your user journey is as smooth as it possibly can be, and that is relevant for your audience. You’re likely to be surprised at the different ways your users interact with your website compared to you!

Honest feedback equals better quality improvements.

Honesty is the best policy and that’s more than true when it comes to gaining feedback from your testers. The best feedback is the sort that’s not only honest but also direct and to the point. It might hurt to hear that users don’t like an element on your website that you’d spent so long developing, but remember that this is how your audience perceives your website and ultimately they are the key to increasing conversions and driving revenue. 

For a new website, this honest feedback is exactly what you need, to know whether your site is as good as you think it is or whether it requires a few more rounds of optimisation. User testing shines a light on key issues that your audience may encounter when they enter your website, so note down all comments that your users make during the testing session. Even a passing comment can lead to a significant change on your website.

A website that is what your users want.

Ultimately, user testing is so important because it helps to build a website that is exactly what your users want. You don’t know what they want if you don’t ask them or give them a chance to show you, which is why running user tests is absolutely vital in ensuring that your website is successful, both in terms of new sites post-launch and existing websites. 

For example, you could have a website that’s 5 years old and a conversion rate that you’re relatively happy with. You believe that there’s nothing wrong with your website, because it’s always been fine the way it is and users appear to be converting. But what if you’re missing out on an even better conversion rate because you’ve never asked your users for their opinion? Even the colour of your CTA’s can be enough of a distraction to put a user off your website, so don’t just assume that there’s no further improvements that could be made. Find out what your users think about your website and make the relevant improvements. 

User testing plays an incredibly important role when it comes to ensuring that your website is doing what it can to drive conversions and increase revenue. There are a number of affordable user testing platforms available to help you set up your test, recruit relevant testers and run your sessions effectively. Once you’ve run your first testing session, I guarantee you’ll never launch anything without conducting a round of user testing first. 

Do you need user testing support?

Contact us today to see how we can help you.

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