Start User Testing and Stop Annoying Your Customers

man rubs his face in frustration at his office in front of his desktop

User testing is exactly what it sounds like — having a user “test” your website and report back how easy or difficult it was to navigate. So … is it worth it?

Picture this: You’ve worked long and hard on creating the look, feel, and functionality of your brand new website. You love it, your coworkers love it, your spouse probably wants you to stop talking about it at dinner. The site feels ready to go live, and you’re certain the whole world will fall in love with it too. The site goes live … but now you’re losing sales compared to your old site. What the heck is happening?!

A very important aspect of creating a website is getting user experience right. If it’s confusing or frustrating to click through a site, the user will usually lose interest and close the tab. For ecommerce sites, this can be devastating.

There are plenty of professional resources you can use to test your website online, but you can also try to do it yourself by rounding up a group of volunteers. You’ll want to choose at least five people, and make sure you pick people who don’t know your business very well to answer the questions below. Call in those favors! Bribe people with coffee or treats!

If you ask me to test your website, I’d like to get paid in cookies.

User Testing Questions

Assign volunteers a task to complete (examples below). Then ask, “Could you find what you were looking for?”

  • Find X product and go through the checkout process.
  • Find our contact information.
  • Sign up for our newsletter.
  • Find our latest blog post.

“What do you think is the purpose of this site (i.e. selling, educating, entertainment)?”

“Is the text on the site legible? If not, do you think it’s the font or the color scheme that bothers you?”

“How helpful is the menu?”

“Did you notice … (call to action, newsletter signup box, video, search box, etc)?”

“What would encourage you to return to this site in the future?”

User testing is a great way to clear away those hurdles that can keep people from using your site, and it’s never too late to get feedback. Take action today with these sample questions and take in the feedback. It will make your site better, and keep your customers happy — a win-win for everybody!

woman smiles for a portrait photo for Infomedia

A born organizer and go-getter, Mary Katherine is a wizard when it comes to deciphering scheduling apps and puzzling our complicated schedules together so projects get done right — and right on time. She can coorelate, catalog and coordinate with the best of them, and her experience as a web designer and forays into the world of SEO mean she can come in with the assist on projects big and small. Mary Katherine worked in theater in New York City before coming to Infomedia; if all the world’s a stage, we’re glad she’s shined her spotlight back in Birmingham.


See more articles from Mary Katherine Bushnell