In a nutshell, your website needs to help your audiences access the information they are looking for quickly and easily. The experience needs to be smooth and without bottlenecks. You want it to be memorable… in a positive way!
What you will find out quickly is that the majority of people online are used to figuring out how to use a website quickly. Most of them will not take the time to figure out a site that doesn't work well.
Here are some ways you can test the effectiveness of your website. It does not matter whether you are building a new website, have just had a website built or have a website but are curious about its performance. All of the methods below will help you gain a deeper insight in how people use your website and will prompt you to consider what can be done to improve usability.
What is Usability?
Usability is how easy an object is to use. The object can be almost anything. In this instance we are discussing websites. Website usability has been defined as 'the ease at which an ordinary person can use the website to achieve specific goals'.
Useable websites increase user satisfaction and sentiment, while websites with poor usability confuse users and negatively impact your bottom line. Improving your usability will encourage users to keep visiting your site time and time again… simple. Otherwise you risk losing them to competitor sites which may offer a better alternative. So it’s a no-brainer why you would want your website to have a clear competitive advantage.
What is Usability Testing?
Usability Testing is a technique used to evaluate a product (in this case a website) by testing on users. Most tests are carefully constructed examples where a person performs a list of tasks often for the first time. Someone else observes the person performing the tasks while taking notes. This is a great way to test whether the site is usable as you will easily see if they are able to perform the tasks, as well as notice any difficulties they have while doing so.