Usability Testing Tips

Feedback Army blog. Topics include:
Usability Testing, Business Musings, and Site News.

Feedback Army Website Usability Testing HOWTO

Photo credit: The U.S. Army

Any usability testing is better than no testing. And cheap usability testing is ideal for developers squeezed on time and budget. Why cheap usability testing? If its cheap, you might actually do it. Just like a writer is blind to their typos, we’re blind to the unnecessary complications in our designs. Get some testing and get it fixed.

How to Address Reviewers

Feedback Army limits you to a URL address and a text field. You can ask several questions in the text field. I always ask open-ended questions. These are questions that begin with who, what, where, when, why, or how and can not be answered with a simple yes or a no. Open ended questions force your reviewers to give a response and justify it.

Don’t be afraid to address your reviewers directly. Think about writing an email to a friend who is about to try your site for the first time. The reviewers will answer the questions you ask in the context you give them. If you want their gut first impression specify this in your instructions. I find it helpful to tell my reviewers what I am collecting feedback on and why I want it.

Do users understand my site?

In usability testing you should check if users understand your site and what you’re doing. Feedback Army has a large pool of reviewers assuring your review will almost always come from a fresh set of eyes. Here is a sample request that lets you gauge how users see your site.

Hello, I’m collecting feedback on my website. Your answers let me know if my site is sending the right message.

  1. What does this site do?
  2. What aspect of the site confused you?
  3. Why is it valuable to you?
  4. How does it work?

Is my site easy to use?

What is your site trying to do? This is a question you should be able to answer. Lets assume you’re selling a software product. Are there confusing issues stopping users from buying? You won’t know until you test. Here is a sample request for this situation:

Please visit my site and try to buy the single user version of my writing improvement software. I don’t expect you to spend money but I want to check the process. Get as far as you can and then answer these questions:

  1. How far did you get? What slowed you down?
  2. What would you change about this process?
  3. What would you keep the same about this process

Getting Started

You now have the necessary knowledge to start your first usability test. Remember that Feedback Army is risk free. If you are not happy with what you receive, you may contact me for a full refund.

Good luck and go make the web better!

Posted in usability testing on December 27, 2009 | No Comments »

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