What to Usability Test First

If the idea of usability testing your website is intriguing to you, but you’re not sure where to begin — there are at least 6 good places to start.

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Open Exploration

If you’ve never tested your website before, this is a great place to start.

Learn how real customers or users are really using your website or software from the moment they enter until they exit. Recruit existing customers via email or a website intercept, and then ask them to show you how they most recently used your website.

Lead Gen Forms

If generating leads is the primary purpose of your website, then set up the usability test from the initial contact point all the way to fulfillment. Follow them through the download, demo, or sales call, if you can.

Competitor Websites

So someone at your office thinks Competitor X’s website is really awesome. Go find out once and for all. Make sure you recruit for their target audience, not yours for deeper insights. Why did they choose Brand X over Brand Y? How does that brand keep them loyal and engaged?

Landing Pages

Follow your users from banner ad, email, or print advertisement to the final destination (your website). You’ll learn a lot more than what works (and doesn’t) on the web page, but also insights about your advertising’s effectiveness, too.

Account Registration

Are brand new visitors able to successfully create an account? Do they understand the benefits of creating an account? What happens when repeat customers try to log in again or retrieve a forgotten password?

Checkout Process

Give your customers real money to buy real products, then watch what happens. Observe all aspects of the transaction — including research, comparison shopping, and email notifications.

Related Articles

How I Remote Mobile Usability Test
10 Mistakes to Avoid When Conducting a Usability Study
How I Find Usability Participants

Author: Kristine Remer

Kristine Remer is an independent UX researcher & strategist in Minneapolis. Connect on Twitter @kristineremer