User experience (UX) can make or break a website, and can be the difference between securing conversions, and losing them to competitors. In this article we outline a number of useful UX tests that you can do in-house to gain a better understanding of the usability of your website.
What is UX and Why is it Important?
Website user experience (UX) is the process of determining usability issues and problems with the customer journey, before fixing these issues to make the website far more pleasant and simple to use.
A good user experience is incredibly important as bad UX can be a turn off for users to the extent that they may leave your site for a competitor’s. This includes bad navigation, not being able to find specific information or products easily, a design that is off-putting or difficult to read, and slow page speeds, to name just a few possible issues.
UX Tests You Can Do In House
There are a number of quick and simple UX tests that you and your team can perform in-house to gain insights into the user experience of your website. These include:
A memory test is exactly what it sounds like – letting users look at your website for 5-10 seconds, then taking it away and seeing what they remember. This is a useful UX tool to see how well the core message, values, and branding comes across, as well as how well any key design elements come across. It is a particularly useful UX test as it is thought that users form an opinion about your site in the first few seconds of landing on it.
It would be a good idea to perform a UX memory test on the homepage and any key landing pages, particularly those with strong selling points or persuasive content.
One of the key things to remember when thinking about UX is that users tend to skim read content to find what they’re looking for. Because of this, you’ll want to test the key pages on your website to get an idea of what users see when skimming, before they begin to focus on any details.
A blur test is a useful UX tool that will help you to understand whether or not your layout and design elements are effective, and whether the most important content on the page stands out.
To perform a UX blur test, blur your screen, or squint your eyes, and see what’s still noticeable on the screen. What are your eyes drawn to, and what stands out? If some of your key content or messaging isn’t drawing your attention, it might be time to rethink your UX design.
A content search is a practical UX test that allows you to see how long it takes users to find a specific piece of content on your website. It tests the navigation and intuitiveness of your website, and highlights any potential areas that need work.
Search for different types of content, i.e. a specific product, a specific blog post, FAQs, delivery information, or anything you think your users might specifically look for when using your website. This will work most effectively if multiple members of your team perform the test independently of each other.
A UX speed test determines the loading time of your website. Slow loading speeds are a huge turn off for many users, therefore good site speed should be a priority to all marketers.
A good tool to help you get an idea of page speed is Google’s Page Speed Insights. This gives you an approximate page speed and a number of recommendations for improvement.
You can also manually check page speed on a number of different devices, browsers, and internet connections. This will give you a good indicator of average page speeds as your users will all be accessing your site through different channels.
You should already have a good understanding of your competitive environment but, if not, begin by conducting at least a basic competitor analysis.
From here, run the above UX tests on your competitors’ websites, and compare the results against those from your own website. This comparison may help to highlight opportunities for improvement and ways to get ahead of the competition.
UX Competitor comparison will work best if multiple members of your team review each of your competitors’ websites – a second eye will pick up on anything you missed.
UX Design with PixelTree Media
The UX tests and methods we’ve presented in this article are all good starting points to learning more about the UX of your website, and will allow you to reveal some useful insights. However, they are subjective, aren’t very in-depth, and you may not know how to take action on the problems or insights that you come across.
This is where a UX agency like PixelTree Media can help. Our expert UX Design team can conduct a comprehensive UX audit to fully evaluate your current user experience. From there, we can undertake a series of workshops, design sprints, UX research and UX testing to ensure that your website is user-friendly and appropriate for your audience. Get in touch today to learn more about our UX Design service.