No matter how much effort it takes to deliver a UX design for a website, each new version needs to be thoroughly and regularly tested. No designer can predict a user’s behavior 100% of the time and you need to check whether the proposed design solutions do their job - convert, not confuse. This article will show you different ways to run UX tests on any website.
An instant solution is to ask your team to go through the website with a critical eye and catch the details that cause negative experiences: confusion, frustration, abandonment. As every person on the team may pay attention to different features and processes, it’s possible to make certain conclusions in this quick and accessible way.
When your team runs a collective website test, tell them to imagine the primary goal of a consumer entering your site. Don’t limit yourself to a personal computer - consider smartphones and other devices, too. Try making a purchase from A to Z with these questions in mind:
- Did this feature work?
- Was it easy for me?
- What was this experience like?
- Did it do what I expected?
It’s crucial to note how many times a particular remark was made. The more people notice a flaw in some part of the page, the more critical it is.
A better option is to ask your customers the same questions. You may place a simple survey on the website itself or even ask them in a retail store. You may reward them for making the effort to help you develop your business in the right direction. Observe how the users accomplish tasks, ask what they think about their experience and whether they have any quick ideas for improvement.
A lot of answers to a better UX lie in web analytics tools—Google is the first choice in many businesses, but the market offers a variety of different products. Check out such metrics as:
- Conversion rate of different sites
- Average conversion rate compared with benchmarks in your country or industry
- Most-visited sites
- Bounce rates on different sites
- Average time spent on a particular site
- Customer behavior and acquisition on different platforms (web vs mobile)
A close look at the numbers may give you an idea which parts of your website work well for the customers and which require extra attention.
Customer review is a part of a larger technique of UX review: user research. Asking users who are fully focused on the process of feedback brings a huge benefit to designers and website owners. They find real answers to questions asked in UX and UI design every day. There are different ways of conducting this kind of user research, for example:
- Qualitative research within your own customer base, like an online survey sent via email or placed on the website itself
- Qualitative research on a focus group made with a UX research agency. In this kind of research, the agency’s job is to gather a significant amount of users who represent your average customer personas to conduct professional surveys and analytics. The quality of this research is definitely the highest and at some point the ROI will strongly benefit from such a service.
Without testing, you may not even realize which elements of your website could boost your ROI with a simple tweak or which element of the checkout flow scares potential buyers away. The only problem with testing is time - relevant results won’t arrive overnight. Luckily, there’s a way to speed the process up a little through A/B/X testing.
This is a testing method in which the two examined versions of an interface are utilized simultaneously by different groups of users. The tested interfaces are randomly assigned to incoming visitors. The performance of each solution can be instantly analyzed and evaluated. This way, the risk of using the wrong solution is minimized, and the profit from the right solution arrives faster.
HINT: Don’t test two very different versions at one time! You may not be able to determine which elements actually worked or not. It’s better to focus on individual options, like testing different CTAs, picture placement, etc. Such tests provide more reliable and actionable results.
To learn more about A/B testing, check out this article: A/B Tests Uncovered: Your Way to Read Customers’ Minds
Don’t reinvent the wheel!
In most cases, you don’t need to invent a best-in-class, mobile-friendly UI for every feature from scratch. Others have already done it. If you’re wondering how a certain feature should be designed, there are two surefire ways to solve the problem.
Check out how big players do it. Their teams consist of dozens of people who are experts in what they do and deliver excellence thanks to collective knowledge and interdisciplinary thinking. Look for inspiration on Zalando, Asos or Apple.
Get inspired by award-winning e-commerce designs. A range of companies and organizations award recognition to less-known businesses for outstanding design, and it can also be an amazing inspiration. Try Awwwards, BigCommerce, CSS Design Awards and Webby Awards.
No matter how many people are on your online store design team, there’s always room for improvement in the UX or the risk of mistakes. That’s why testing is always a good idea. No matter if your methods are as simple as a team review or as advanced as A/B/X tests, the outcomes will give you motivation to go through UX best practices and see what’s missing in your store.