The word on the ‘digital street’ is that User experience (UX) is now the most important part of any website or app. One top group of pundits / experts, the Nielsen Norman Group going so far as to state that this impacts a user’s perception of a brand very heavily indeed.
User Experience actually encompasses all aspects of the end user’s interaction with the company, its services and its products…
As you can see User Experience affects the whole process, from initial user engagement, right through to the point where they of purchase from your brand. It therefore has a direct effect on your brand’s bottom line…
So, if you want your company to perform as well as it can, you will want to do everything possible to optimize the UX and thus give users the best, most fluid, seamless experience you can.
The whole area gets a whole lot more important when you see the results of the studies, the data showing that after redesigning for optimum usability, the average improvement in KPI’s was a staggering 83 percent.
So Solve the Problem, before it becomes a Real Problem
Armed with these facts, it is obvious that the key is to resolve any issues before they really start to hurt, this becoming even more important when you also see data which shows that 79 percent of users who become dissatisfied when visiting a site, are less likely to buy from the same site again.
Here are some of the best ways to fix UX issues before they cost you sales.
Finding The Issues in the First Place
Crowdsourced testing is perhaps the most effective strategy to find the areas that are causing problems.
Here’s how it works:
- Locate a crowdsourced testing provider
- As they have access to a large network of qualified testers, you can be sure that they can provide just the right mix of experience / tools
- These testers then examine and analyze your site or app, possibly on a wide variety of devices, (this being something that you can specify)
- Using their experience they then identify any usability issues, these being highlighted in a full well explained report
- With the issues exposed, you also get suggestions on how to improve these highlighted issues
The whole process is fast (it can be finished in just a few days) and is also affordable, often costing less than half than any traditional testing system. This brings the whole thing into a price bracket that most companies can afford.
Why is Crowdsourced Testing So Good?
Basically, this boils down to the diversity of the users and experience of the operatives in the ‘testing pool’. The reason that this is important is that as the testers come from different backgrounds and use so many different devices, you are sure to get ‘unbiased objectivity’, which is very helpful when trying to pinpoint any issues.
Not just Usability but Functionality and Security Too
Usability is the main area that is checked, but you also get insights into the functionality of the app / website and security. The latter point is very important these days as the average site / application tested has an average number of 20 security vulnerabilities in 2015, which is over three and a half times higher than in 2013.
Crowdsourced testing scores again in this area as they typically have a number of registered ethical hackers who can search for vulnerabilities, which they can then bring to your attention.
Thus Crowdsourced testing allows you to fix any issues before cybercriminals are able to exploit them…
Outsourced usability testing
Besides Crowdsourced testing, another option that is sometime used is to hire a third-party company. Here they perform all the testing in-house. The disadvantage of this course of action is that such companies have a smaller pool of testers / qualified users, and may not also use as many different types of devices.
There are advantages to though, as all the individuals carrying out the testing tend to be based in the same physical location, which in turn means that they have better communication channels, something that can improve the efficiency of the ‘audit’.
Possibly the biggest downside is that fact that you are liable to spend a lot more money using such a testing body.
Last but not least In-house testing
The testing here follows much the same process as crowdsourced and outsourced testing, but obviously everything is done internally by your own staff
Of course here, you are responsible for hiring, training and providing support to your in-house testers, plus of course you may have to buy quite a lot of kit so that you can test your site on the many possible devices that are in use today.
Experience has shown that this method most often leads to higher costs than crowdsourced testing and is more complicated to run (as you have to well versed in what should be done).
Some companies choose the in house option is because they have total control throughout the testing process, very important where you have information that you simply don’t want anyone else seeing before the site is launched.
You should however bear in mind that most crowdsourced testing providers do offer a guarantee of confidentiality throughout the entire process, which tends to reduce the chances of anything leaking out.
Remember to test Before Launch
Regardless of which method you choose, ideally you will be testing pre-launch, as otherwise you will have released a potentially ‘flaky’ app or site, and that cannot be good for your brand.
Analytics can help too
Whilst user testing can be one way of checking on the UX of your app or site, it’s also worth noting that you can get a lot of information from analytics, looking at the “Behavior Flow” giving a good glimpse of the journeys your visitors are taking.
You’ll see something that looks like this:
From there you can track visitors’ journey from when they initially land on your site (Starting pages) to the next page they click on (1st Interaction) to the page they click on after that (2nd Interaction).
This shows how your visitors move through the site, the important point being the number of exits (drop off). If these are higher than expected (for example a page full of contact information could naturally have a high number of exits as the user has got all the information they need) then it is worth considering making some changes.
Some other areas of Google Analytics that are worth looking at are:-
- Exit Pages under “Behavior” > “Site Content” – This lets you know which pages users are exiting from the site most often
- Content Drilldown also under “Behavior” > “Site Content” – This allows you to see which pages are receiving the most page views, how long visitors are spending on each page, bounce rate as well as other data..
If you want your next site or app to offer the very best User Experience then it is vital that you carry out the proper testing, that way you get the very chance of fixing any issues and improving the overall UX.
In return, your company will receive a whole host of benefits including increased engagement, more conversions and higher brand loyalty.