The customer knows best: Why usability testing is important


By Shavin Peiries


What is Usability Testing?


In essence, usability testing is a methodology that is used to check your website’s ease-of-use with real customers before it’s launched.



So, why is usability testing important?


The ultimate goal of a test is to find usability problems with your website. For example, if your website is hard to navigate or if it doesn’t clearly show its purpose, your customers will leave! Making it so they don’t leave, makes testing your website a necessary part of your design and development process.


If you also look at it from a business point of view, the market you are in might be saturated with a lot of competitors. Given that there’s a wide spectrum of competitors to choose from for your customer to identify with, they’ll obviously want a company that meets their expectations. Usability testing gives you the opportunity to check if the service you provide is easy to use by the customer.


But what If you’re only developing a website for a client, why should care about usability? It is the client’s website, shouldn’t you just do as they say? Conducting usability testing allows you to cut down on the number of change requests so you know what works for the end-customer. You’re producing evidence that is critical to stop contributors from using their own opinions, which can result in late and costly changes in the development process.


If you’re going to spend time and money developing a website, make sure you test it with your end customers. After all, usability testing should not be considered as an extracurricular activity but a key part of the design and development process.


When the usability problems are found and resolved. Customers will be satisfied with the experience that you provide, therefore they’re going to spend more time on your website. Increasing the likelihood of doing an intended task like making a purchase. They will consider you trustworthy when they use the website because it feels easy and natural. Whatever they hope to do with your website, they will achieve it an effective and efficient manner. If you think about it, when your website provides a genuinely good experience, then your customers are probably going to tell their friends and family about it. And the cycle continues!



Ok, you’ve convinced me! How should I start?


Great if you’re ready to get started. The first thing you have to do is get your team on board with the idea. So share this article with your team, tell them its important. If you’re the business owner tell your design and development team to get started immediately because the earlier they incorporate in the development flow the easier it’s going to be in the future.


If you’re in software servicing and have had it with those pesky change requests, then get your team to do a usability test. At least on a couple of customers and then you can battle clients on their opinions because you will have the proof. It’s just going to be better overall, for the client, for you and most importantly the customer.

If you’re looking to conduct a usability test, read our article about How to conduct a usability test.


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