I get jolt of pleasure followed by a knowing smile from the reaction stakeholders have after their first customer interview experience or user testing session. It’s an a-ha moment. Happiness and then a flurry of the learnings and improvements they just picked up. And that’s after just the first one.
You want to run usability tests to optimize your user experience in order to optimize your bottom line. Creating a site or app that is intuitive for your user in turn creates a happier user. You need to understand the path that users are taking in order to achieve success and smooth out the edges. The less they need to think, the happier they’ll be and the more they’ll buy. Remember, product success is when your customer is successful.
My favorite learnings are the ones which leave me feeling a little stupid. A user will be walking through the site which I know very well at this point and will ask something like, “I understand that this button adds it to my cart, but why can’t I immediately go to my cart?” In building a product you can start to have tunnel vision towards your own ideas, but a good user test will help you to put a wider lens on your camera and expand the vision of what you’re building.
The biggest example is the story of the $300 Million button. Jared Spool explains how removing a user’s need to create an account in order to purchase from a large online retailer increased yearly sales by $300 million. He found out that the original hypothesis that users wouldn’t mind registering for an account was wrong and most did so with a sense of despair. They removed the register button, replaced it with a continue button and number of customers purchasing went up by 45%.
This is the power of usability testing.
One more in this series, centered around the usability testing report. Then onto a case study about ordering pizza online from three of the biggest chains.
Want to read more about usability testing? Leave a comment and let me know.