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What is usability testing (usability audit)

What is usability testing (usability audit)an indicator of the usability of various sites is usability, and using the so-called usability testing (usability audit), you can evaluate this indicator. Usability testing can be performed both at the site development stage and during the entire site lifecycle.

Usability audit helps you find out whether a site needs a redesign or redesign of the user interface. Such an audit is necessary for all sites, but online stores especially need it, since this type of site works “directly” with potential buyers. For online stores, usability audit helps to solve the following tasks:

find out why the sales level is lower than expected;
determine at which stage of interaction visitors most often have problems;
develop a solution for the identified problems.
Before conducting a usability audit of an online store, or any other type of site, you must first determine its target audience as specifically as possible. To do this, usually make a portrait of a typical user of the site, which demonstrates:

age and financial status;
interests and proper behavior;
professional skill;
skill level of the Internet user.
Usability testing can be qualitative and comparative. In qualitative usability testing examined the behavior and actions of users when working with a site that is tested, and a comparative study of user activity when working with several sites: what is tested, and its competitors.

The necessary equipment for site usability testing usually includes a computer with Internet access, as well as recording (re-recording) equipment for recording the Respondent’s actions and behavior during testing. Video cameras or voice recorders are usually used as such equipment, and a web camera may also be suitable for this purpose (it is necessary to record the data stream transmitted by the camera).

Recently, the eye tracking technology has been used to conduct usability tests — a technology that allows you to determine how and where the user’s view is moving on the site page. To use this technology, you need a special eye tracker device: using infrared rays, this device captures the position of the eyes when viewing and then the data is applied to special maps. AI tracking technology allows you to get very accurate data, but it is quite expensive.

To conduct a usability audit, you should select a certain number of respondents (5-8 will be enough) that match the portrait of a typical site user, and prepare the equipment. It is also necessary to correctly formulate tasks for respondents and create a scenario for their interaction with the site that is being tested. In addition, you should define a list of metrics that will be used to analyze the data collected during testing.

During usability testing, it is important to let respondents know that it is the site that is being tested, and not themselves, so there is no need to be afraid of making some mistake. When testing, respondents must necessarily utter their comments and emotions when interacting with the site, because this also characterizes the level of comfort of working with the site: if the Respondent accompanies his actions with dissatisfied comments or is angry, this may indicate that using the site gives him a great inconvenience.

Usability audit does not end with just fixing data about identified problems or errors in the site operation. After collecting the data, it is the turn of analysis-perhaps the most difficult stage in all testing. Usability specialists should examine all the data obtained, systematize it, and draw conclusions based on it about whether the site needs to be modified or redesigned.

Separately, usability testing is performed by companies that specialize in this area. Also, usability audits are often performed by web studios when developing or redesigning sites. In particular, the web design Studio WebStudio2U uses usability analysis data to create solutions that fully meet modern usability requirements when developing sites, as well as developing web design or redesigning sites.

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