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Simple Usability Testing

Usability testing, often misunderstood and overlooked, is one of the most useful ways to spend time when working on a web site. Even very simple usability testing, as we will cover here, can uncover most major problems, and help lead you to increased sales conversion rates and more effective internet marketing.

  1. Usability Test Setup
    Your testing station should be a commonly configured PC, in an area with little distraction and a comfortable chair. If available, you should have a video camera positioned to record the user as they interact with the site.
  2. Testing Subjects
    Any people will do for the test. There is no “normal” user, and you never know what problems people might uncover for you. You should have no problem finding testers, and you should pay them for their time ($50 for 30 minutes or so).
  3. Testing The Site
    Once you have found your testers, get them to the site, and describe some tasks for them to attempt. Then sit back, listen, and take notes. Try not to answer questions too quickly, let the user exhaust their options. When you have completed your testing, you will most likely have some very clear areas that need work, and some direction as to how to improve them.

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