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How to test the users' experience of your website

User experience refers to the quality of your user's interactions with your website. By testing it, you can improve customer engagement and satisfaction and in turn, increase your profits and grow your business.

There are a number of techniques you can use to test the user experience. Depending on your resources, budget, and the nature of your business, you may use a few or all of them. Let’s dive deeper into several options you may want to consider.

User Surveys

User surveys collect quantitative and qualitative data about user interactions and experiences. Put simply, they provide you with insights about how users interact with your website. Through user testing, you can identify what works and what doesn’t.

User surveys collect quantitative and qualitative data about user interactions and experiences. Put simply, they provide you with insights about how users interact with your website. Through user testing, you can identify what works and what doesn’t.

In most cases, user surveys are performed online, by engaging users as they visit a website. The majority of surveys include a combination of close-ended or multiple choice questions and open-ended questions. There might also be a task component, in which users answer questions about tasks they’ve performed.

While user surveys are fairly easy to create and execute, they do come with a few drawbacks. If you ask the wrong questions, you may end up with inaccurate data. Also, you don’t have full control of the respondents who can choose to skip answers or quit in the middle of the survey.

Heat Mapping

A heat map is a data visualization tool that can show you how users interact with your website. It uses color to indicate which items are “hotter” or receive the most engagement as well as which ones are “cooler” and receive minimal engagement.

Through a heat map, you can uncover which buttons users are clicking, which pages they’re visiting the most often, and which sections they spend the most and least amount of time looking at. While there are several types of heat maps, click maps, scroll maps, and mouse-tracking maps are the most common.

In addition to providing you with useful insights about your users, heat maps can reveal issues with your navigation and overall design that may have a negative impact on your website’s performance. To take advantage of heat maps, however, you’ll need to invest in special software and learn how to use it.

Remote User Feedback

Remote user feedback is when you engage users while they’re on your website through a single question or multiple questions. It allows you to collect instant feedback so you can uncover how satisfied they are with their experience.

When you implement this efficient and cost-effective strategy, you’ll be able to ask your users which elements of your site they like and which ones they’d like you to improve. With remote user feedback, you don’t have to wonder how you’ll improve your user experience.

Since your users will offer their feedback remotely, you won’t be able to see them. This means, you may miss out on body language, facial expressions, and other behaviors that can give you a better understanding of their thoughts and feelings.

Usability Testing

In a typical usability testing session, a facilitator presents tasks to users so they can observe their behavior. Also known as user testing, it’s essential if you want to determine what influences your users to take your desired actions.

For example, let’s say you’re a clothing boutique with an e-commerce website. Your goal is for users to make purchases online. When you conduct a usability test, you can ask your users to find a popular product, add it to their shopping cart, and check out. If they’re unable to complete this task, you may need to make some changes.

The main challenge of usability testing is finding enough qualified users. Despite your best recruitment efforts, you might struggle to connect with those who meet your criteria and are willing to participate in your tests.

Thankfully, with UserBob, the challenge of recruiting is taken care of for you so that you can start testing right away.

Moderated User Testing

Moderated user testing involves a moderator who works directly with test participants, usually on a one-on-one basis. It’s the moderator's job to guide and assist users in completing the test, either in-person or remotely. If you’d like to ask follow-up questions, connect with users on a deeper level, and be available in the event of any issues, moderated user testing is a good option.

For optimal effectiveness, this strategy requires you to create an inviting, open environment in which participants are comfortable interacting with you and sharing their personal experiences and preferences.

The challenge with moderated user testing, however, is the extensive planning and coordination it requires. Not only will you have to find the right participants, you’ll need to make sure the date and time of the tests work with their schedules. It can also be more expensive as you’ll have to pay moderators for their time.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is one of the leading UX research tools on the market. Fortunately, it’s easy to access and free. Through Google Analytics, you can learn about your site’s users, discover what pages and elements are working well, and where you can improve.

With the event tracking feature, for example, you can measure the user-friendliness of your website links. The average session duration will tell you how long it takes a user to perform certain tasks within a specified time frame. Bounce rates calculate the percentage of users who went to your site and left it immediately without taking any action.

Even though Google Analytics metrics can do wonders for your user experience efforts, you’ll need to learn how to use the tool. Since it’s quite robust, you may have to invest in a training course or spend hours upon hours teaching yourself.

Save Money and Time with User Testing

Whether your website is new or has been around for quite some time, user testing should be on your priority list. If you implement the strategies we discussed above, you can gain a deep understanding of your users and receive key insights on their needs, values, and limitations.

You won’t have to wonder how to improve your website because you’ll have valuable data and information that will reveal what you need to do. As a result, you’ll save a great deal of time, money, and headaches down the road while you meet (or even exceed) your business goals.