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Tag: usability test

Simple Types of Usability Tests for Creating Happier Users and Better Websites

Even though you might associate usability with website design, it’s been an important factor in our everyday life for at least a century. Frederick Taylor’s Principles of Scientific Management, published in 1911, is the first instance where the world started paying attention to how people use things, and how we can help them be more efficient. In 1936, Frigidaire cited “usability” as a key feature of their new refrigerator. In 1943, Alphonse Chapanis made the case for redesigning airplane cockpits in order to reduce errors.

But it wasn’t until 1985 that Computer Usability Testing & Evaluation was published by Richard Spencer. Of course, by this point, usability wasn’t anything new, so designing computers that were most usable was a given. In fact, the war of operating systems, mainly between Microsoft and Apple, has been centered on usability since the beginning.

When home-accessible Internet arrived and websites became the next usability feat, Steve Krug published Don’t Make Me Think in 2000. I think we can all agree that web designers everywhere desperately needed this book back in 2000 and the web has become better for it.

What Great Website Design Actually Means and How to Measure it

Have you started the venture on your next great website design? Maybe your original design was pretty great when you launched, but it’s been a few years now and it’s not so great. What exactly is the definition of great, anyway? Is it a good color pallette? A fancy design? Does it shuffle content more effectively, or draw your eye to the most important calls to action? Does it generate revenue for you? Has it been effective at building an email list? Are you consistently seeing more revenue generated through it than the month before?

You can probably guess at which of these questions are more important than others. If we have to hear another new marketing intern complain about pop-ups without looking at the 20-30% increase in email captures when they launched, we’re going to go all Nate Silver on them. Business goals – do you have them? Good. Are you willing to do what it takes to reach them? Great.

What Every Great Website Design Requires (And You Might Be Missing)

I’d like you to take a minute and decide the actions you’d like a user to take when they arrive at your website. If you were conducting any kind of simple usability tests, you’d want to do the same thing.

In a heuristic usability test, where you’re watching a user engage with your website, you are required to come up with 5-10 major tasks, many of which require the one element that every website design requires: a very obvious call to action.

Website Taxonomy Mistakes That Publishers Make Too Often

Your website taxonomy is how you speak to those who are looking at your website. Publishers live in the visual world and have a habit of going for over-designed websites that overwhelm users more often than they inform them. If your readers are running in the opposite direction of your sales pages, then this could be the problem.

Mobile Usability Testing

Mobile usability tests encourage distractions and an unstable environment. Like any website you’ll ever build, there is a need for usability testing. Building a site for mobile users is like shooting in the dark unless you know what they’re looking at and what they’re viewing it on.

How to Evaluate your Usability Lab Results

Identifying and prioritizing your usability lab results is the most interesting and valuable part

Once you conduct your usability lab, it will become very obvious to you very quickly, which areas need improvement. More often than not, there will be more than one user who will experience frustration with certain tasks on your website.

Link Affordance Usability Testing for Website Design

A great affordance test is to print off web pages in grayscale, give a test user a yellow highlighter and ask them to highlight anything on which they think they could click. The first thing you will notice is that anything that is underlined will get highlighted. Those words that may or may not be colored but which are not underlined will most likely not look like links to your test user.

Heuristic Evaluation Usability Testing

A heuristic evaluation is one of the more popular methods of usability testing and takes place with a functional website, likely in the last stages of development or right before a redesign. This is the type of lab setting that we showed you in Monday’s tip How to Conduct a Usability Lab, and requires a computer with a webcam and usability software like Morae, a moderator, and a user.

How to Conduct a Usability Lab

How to prepare a usability lab for several different types of studies. Usability testing is a controlled experiment that tests the architecture and user-friendliness of your website. Reasons why businesses conduct usability tests are often to provide feedback to information architects and designers.

Website Usability Tip: Does Less Hype Equal More Comprehension?

Looking back on an expert’s claim that website usability testing proved promotional language imposes a cognitive burden

It’s nearly a decade now since website usability expert Dr. Jakob Nielsen proclaimed that “that 79 percent of our test users always scanned any new page they came across; only 16 percent read word-by-word.”

“Users detested ‘marketese’—the promotional writing style with boastful subjective claims,” said Dr. Nielsen in 1997.

Eight Website Usability Terms you Should Become Familiar With

Having just conducted a mini-usability test this week with a very confused customer, I have website usability on the brain. We have some tests scheduled for the end of September that I just cannot wait another second for!

As many of you know, website usability is a hot issue in Web development, most likely because, over the past decade, so many websites were launched without any user testing at all, leaving the Web littered with confusing and unusable interfaces.

Three Reasons to Use Paper Prototyping Before Building Websites

Getting the design of your website right often proves to be a daunting task. The development costs alone for creating a website with a unique value proposition can be staggering. Our inside joke on that is, “How do you create a $10 million Web business? Start with $38 million and work your way down.”

Wouldn’t it be great if you didn’t have to guess what your customers expect? The good news is YOU CAN—and without writing a single line of HTML code. If you have paper, pencils and some simple office supplies, you and your team of designers and developers can ask users to test your website before you even build your first page.

JeanChatzky.com Website Design Review

Is Jean Chatzky, the Latest Pop Personal Financial Adviser, Well Served by a Website that Confuses Visitors with Too Many Options and Stale Content? Jean Chatzky is the latest in a series of popular, photogenic (and telegenic) female financial advisors that includes Jane Bryant Quinn, Suze Orman and the late Sylvia Porter. Ms. Chatzky writes regular personal finance columns for United Features syndicate, Time, Money and USA Weekend, and is a regular contributor to NBC’s Today Show.