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Get inside your consumers’ heads with a usability study
Usability testing involves the systematic observation of persons using a product under controlled conditions. Best conducted by an outside agency or usability expert, usability studies will provide insights into performance, accuracy, recall and emotional response. For example, how many steps did it take Joe to find something to buy on your website or check out? How many mistakes did he make in navigating your site? How much information did Joe walk away with? Was he comfortable on your website or was it a stressful experience?
The experts conducting your usability study will recruit a small group of people based on demographics. One by one, each person will be observed while interacting with your website. You and your team may observe them, as well. There is also software available that can record where their mouse goes and what they click on.
At the end, your usability report will probably have some surprises. The navigation may not be as intuitive as you think, and users may not go where you expect. Okay, they can be as unpredictable as cats – but that’s okay. Because the point is to see your website through their eyes, and whatever you learn will allow you to make you web presence even better, with good internet marketing research.