5 Reasons Your Business Needs Usability Testing

Usability testing is crucial for the survival of your business online.

It shows you exactly where your customers have problems using your website, mobile app or software.

You could have built the most beautiful and technologically advanced product, but if your users can’t use it, it may as well not exist.

“If the user can’t use it, it doesn’t work.” – Susan Dray, Usability and HCI Expert

No matter how experienced you or your team are, at the end of the day you are not your user. You’ll never see your designs the same way they do.

Observing how your target customers actually use your design will give you insights that you’d never get otherwise.

But what is usability testing?

To put it simply, usability testing involves one-to-one research with representative users carrying out typical tasks on your website, app or software. By observing their behaviour you can learn what they actually do rather than just what they say they do (which is often not the same thing).

Testing is most effective when done on a prototype, before you’ve started development or your visual design. Testing with just 5 users will uncover 85% of your usability problems. That said, any testing is better than no testing, so even if you’re testing with a single user, or you’ve got an existing website or app, running usability tests can be a great way to understand the priority fixes needed.

The benefits to your business from usability testing are incredibly valuable. Whether it’s saving your business money or making it even more money, the ROI you’ll get from usability testing make it a tool that you must consider.

Below are a list of the biggest advantages your business will get from usability testing.

1. Save Time and Money

In business, profit is the ultimate indicator of success. And a great way to increase profit is to reduce costs.

Investing in usability testing early on will save your business time and money. You’ll know exactly where users get lost, why they leave, what frustrates them, what stops them from completing a purchase, and a whole lot more. And you learn this all before you’ve spent anything on development.

Making changes to your site or app after development is expensive and time-consuming. Doing it before is cheap and fast.

And it’s not just about cost of reworks. Creating a usable design means your customers spend less time contacting you for support offline. Fewer support calls means fewer support staff which means less cost on payroll.

What if your design is for internal use? For example your company intranet? You’ll still save a lot of money. If your designs are usable, your company spends less time and money on training employees to use it.

2. Increase Revenue with Higher Conversion Rates

In a study carried out by NNg, they found a 100% increase in conversion rates and 150% increase in traffic..

By understanding what your users need and how they behave, you can ensure your designs help your users do what they came to your website to do. This leads directly to increased conversions which leads to increased revenue.

And when people have positive interactions with your site (i.e. they accomplish their goals), they’re more likely to write positive reviews and recommendations and refer their friends and family.

And there’s nothing like positive word of mouth to help increase traffic to your site.

3. Reduce Abandonment Rates

When your website does not deliver what your users expect quickly and efficiently you risk losing potential customers. Research shows that 79% of visitors will jump to another site if they have difficulty completing a task.

Regaining lost customers due to a poor experience is very difficult. 40% of users never return to a site if they felt annoyed or frustrated during their first visit. And with social media channels just a tap away, users that spread a negative review or complaint about your brand can be lethal to your business.

On the other hand, by satisfying your customers with a delightful experience, you create a relationship with them. Happy first time customers become returning customers. If your website gets it right first time around you stand a much better chance of maintaining customer loyalty and advocacy.

4. Improve Your Reputation With Customers

When was the last time you saw a 1-star rated restaurant and thought to yourself, “hey! let me go try that?” Chances are…

Never.

Reviews, ratings and recommendations are one of the most powerful persuasion techniques used online. They can make or break your business. And people aren’t afraid to share their thoughts and feelings.

Usability testing helps you avoid the types of design flaws that damage your reputation with customers by listening to what people need first. Testing with a small sample of your target audience on wireframes and prototypes, you adjust any bumps encountered along the way before finalising your product.

Elevated user satisfaction and trust, improves your business’s credibility and reputation.

5. Gain the Advantage Over Your Competition

In an ever-competitive world, creating average products simply won’t cut it. Remember, your competitors are always just a click away.

When you deliver an outstanding user experience you set yourself apart from your competitors, giving your business an advantage in the industry. Usability testing makes teams more intelligent by improving design decision-making.

Users are looking for exceptional interactions that meet their needs. They don’t have the patience to stick around to discover what you have to offer. People are aware that they have other options, and aren’t hesitant to entertain them.

Usability testing ensures that all efforts that go into improving your website are not lost. It not only uncovers what you need to improve in your website, but can also be used to analyse your competitors to learn what works and what doesn’t giving you a shortcut to success.

All the biggest brands, such as Amazon, Google and Airbnb run usability tests. They’ve all seen huge success by implementing testing to ensure that they properly understand what their users need and deliver on that understanding.

“Want your users to fall in love with your designs? Fall in love with your users” – Dana Chisnell

The best way to make a great business is to really get to know your customers. Usability testing is one of the most important User Research tools for really knowing your customers. By focusing on how they interact with your product you create satisfying results for both them and your business.

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