If Friedrich Schiller worked for reality bytes as a User Experience Designer today, he would probably write: ‘So test therefore, who join the user, if content can be found quickly!’ Usability tests are indispensable in Internet projects that are becoming ever more complex. Only these offer security as to whether users can find their way around a website and use it in the intended way. Tests of usability are carried out during the development phase. They are then incorporated into the development of the website. The focus is on optimisation of user guidance. Existing websites can also be tested, and these tests are then used as the starting point for optimisations or relaunches.
When developing new Internet projects or relaunches, the so-called rapid prototyping test has proven its worth. Here, partially-functional prototypes are tested. As part of scenario-supported tests, testers check specific click pathways for their functionality, design or word choice, and give their opinions. These statements are integrated into further development and the same pathways then tested again. In other words, this is an iterative process. The benefits are clear: even in the early development stages, users are involved, and barriers and inconsistencies removed. Designs and functions can be fine-tuned. And the tests do not require a fully-programmed website.
Such tests are necessary, as seemingly everyday functions and website designs are not correctly understood by users. The term ‘dumbest assumable user’ has even made it into the online lexicon Wikipedia. But users are not stupid; they have a learned view of websites and online shops that is personal to them. It is therefore necessary that people with various online backgrounds test websites, preferably as part of individual exploration. Often even just four testers per iteration are enough to build up a good view of functionality and design. Each test comprises robust individual interviews and preparation of statements for discussion by the experts. Then, we optimise and submit the optimised versions for testing again. The numerous tests that we have carried out mean that we can say with authority that three test phases are normally enough to develop a highly functional, graphically appealing website that is understood by your visitors and will, in the best cases, be loved and appreciated.
Unimall, Econa, Bosch, Grundeigentümer-Versicherung
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