I recently read an insightful article about website usability testing, and the importance of user testing.
This funny article summarized the author’s experience with a particularly embarrassing question that his mom used to ask him regularly.
When was the last time you showered?
As a kid, his answer?
He wasn’t really sure.
He used this anecdote to frame an article about the importance of website usability testing and its frequency. The general idea being that if you can’t remember the last time you completed usability testing, it has been too long.
And it is not just about testing your product on a desktop, but testing your product multiple times on multiple platforms.
Are you conducting website usability testing on mobile devices as well as desktops?
Are you testing your competitors and your blogs?
Are you frequently making sure that every aspect of your website is working and understandable to your users?
If not you may not pass the sniff test.
The articles author outlines the importance of usability testing but also the freshness of looking through your users eyes to see your website for the first time. The author suggests completely website usability testing at least once per week, and testing your competitors’ sites at least once per month. Doing this ensures that you’re on top of any critical user experience changes that may draw business away from your sites.
The author also suggests that you post your user testing schedule in a public place, so that you and your employees can keep each other accountable.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, you need to schedule testing around every big change, and you need to do this before and after each change. Remember, the best possible user experience means testing and retesting for usability.
Remember, you’re responsible for a robust user experience, and website usability testing is key to ensuring that your users are getting the most possible out of your site.
You may be able to navigate your site with ease, but can your users?
Even the smallest changes can make a big impact to those who are already struggling.
Ease your users into change and be sure to test, test, test!
It’s no surprise that I enjoyed this article. I work at a company called WalkMe, which was started because the founder wanted to help his mother use the internet. She kept calling and asking for help with searches, online banking, and other tasks. In this spirit, WalkMe created a series of interactive tips, which guides users through the various online tasks. It was about giving uses the tools needed to get the job done. And voila – an amazing software was born.
So it goes without saying that stories about the importance of mom and her many lessons speak to me.
The article did a fine job of summarizing the importance of website usability testing. Keeping in mind that if your mom can’t figure out how to navigate your website, you have a lot of improvements to make.
So now it’s time to ask yourself, when was the last time you showered?
Website usability tests are critical, so don’t wait too long.