Want a free usability test report of your website? Usability testing is very essential for every site owner to know what site visitors like or hate about your website. Do they get stuck in navigation menus or are they actually able to find content they are looking for.
So how is this different from heatmap or overlay tools? They show what users clicked and how they navigated your site. Usability testing allows real users to test your website and record their audio-video experiences on your site. While you might think your site is popular and users can find all the great content you posted – a random visitor from across the world might not have even heard about your site and would give an unbiased opinion highlighting their user experience on your site.
This helps webmasters and site web designers realize what further web design changes are need for better user experience, to highlight content you want to showcase, and where users get stuck and how they can improve the site.
Free Website Usability Testing
So while mostly usability testing is a paid service as it involves real people to actually perform site reviews … I found this amazing free usability testing service called Peek, by UserTesting, which will generate a free usability report for your site. So we requested a free report and lets see what happened.
What We Learnt From Our Usability Report
You must view the QOT usability report, where they review our site. I got my video report link in 3 days via email, and it was worth it. We got some useful insights …
- Site is too black – We use a modified Twenty Fourteen WordPress theme, modified for a single sidebar appearance, centred display and less wide content areas for a compact look. But on a larger screen, the site indeed looks too black. Maybe better to change the background and make the site ‘less black’, especially since the homepage featured posts confuse with ads!
- Top Navbar is Most Important – If there are key areas you want to highlight, the the top navbar seems to be the best place to showcase it. It seems to be the most popular way users want to browse your site. Dropdown’s can add a lot of navigation items in a small area, and if you make it responsive, you can add even more links (Try bootstrap for this).
- Sidebar Navigation is Less Important – Visitors notice the dull links in the sidebar much less than you expect. (I confirmed this on earlier heatmap testing too). So getting your key content here might not work.
- Search Page Design Should Match – While we optimized our search page to load minimal content and load super fast with Google custom search; it created an unexpected impression the visitor was on another site, clicked the search result and came back to the site. So it might be better the search pages mimics the site design so users is assured he is on the same site. A basic usability principle.
- Add popularity Counts - Sometimes it better to show vanity counts for a high number of Google+, Facebook or Twitter followers. That helps a new visitor to know your site is popular and worth their time. The About page which houses all your great information might not even be clicked. If you want to highlight your site awards, sidebars might be a better place.
- Naming links the right way – You notice that links like ‘Facebook’ make no sense. naming link like ‘Facebook tips’ might be better and lead to a more predictable experience.
- Blog byline essential – why should the user spend a minute to find what your site is about. Adding a blog byline or site description is a great way to let people know
- How is your site different? There are so many similar sites out there. Highlight what makes your site different.
- Users love video – Adding more video content will allow for more engaged uses and reduce your bounce rate as well.
So what will make you come back?
The bottom line is … every website must try usability testing to understand site issues, and it will help them design a better site.