User testing is a vital ingredient for creating and optimising your website – it tests how users react to your website, whether they can complete key tasks or goals as well as how they find the overall experience.
Benefits of user testing
Direct, specific feedback from relevant users
User testing gives you a direct conduit to your target audiences to find out how they interact with your website and where they experience problems completing a task.
By carefully selecting participants that fit with your customers' profiles, we ensure that the results are relevant and useful.
Unlocking the context behind the data
The phrase 'big data' has become ubiqitous in digital. While quantitative data at scale can be extremely valuable at revealing trends and patterns of user behaviour, it often cannot answer the most important question - 'why'?
User testing helps to provide the qualitative data, adding the context and meaning to the numbers. Why did a user make that choice? What influenced their behaviour? Why couldn't they find the information they needed?
Challenge assumptions and preconceptions
One of the biggest dangers in working to improve a website is that we become overfamiliar with it. When we know how the site works and where information is found, it's easy to overlook problems that your users regularly encounter.
Making major decisions based on assumptions is a risk. Putting those assumptions to the test can deliver the reassurance needed to press ahead - or the reality check that indicates a different solution.
Validate findings from other research
Sustainable user research relies on a mix of different techniques, and user testing is just one of these. One source of insight often isn't enough to give confidence in a specific solution. Equally, two or more sources can conflict.
The hands-on nature of user testing makes it a good method of validating what your research has told you. Is user behaviour consistent with the feedback gathered through surveys or interviews, for example?
Methods of user testing
We use a mix of different methods depending on the needs of our clients and the objectives of the testing.