Special Offer on Usability Testing with UserTesting.com
These days smart SEOs spend a lot of time predicting how a user will behave, planning the customer’s conversion path and assuming the course a visitor will take to travel through the site. But is all that planning accomplishing what you hoped? Wouldn’t it be nice to actually see what happens on the site when you’re not looking?
There are several tools that make this possible, and one solution comes from UserTesting.com. After writing about the importance of considering users when developing an SEO strategy, the people at UserTesting.com let me try their usability testing service. After seeing what UserTesting.com has to offer, I’d recommend the service to any Internet marketer looking for affordable, targeted and comprehensive usability testing.
What’s even better is that UserTesting.com is offering a $10 discount to the first 20 blog readers who order a usability test. Go to UserTesting.com from this special pricing link and your test — which usually costs an impressive $29 — is just $19.
It seems like you can barely get a meal for that these days, but you can get extremely insightful usability testing. Have your site reviewed by a person who video records their actions on the site, and hear them explain what they’re thinking as they take your requested actions. You’ll also get the tester’s written description of what they thought of the site and the tasks that they performed.
Now that you’re familiar with the service, here’s my take. When you first order the test, you’re instructed to list the tasks that the tester should perform on your site. The more concrete and detailed the tasks, the better the chance that the results will include actionable improvements.
You’re also asked to describe your target audience, and this info is used to match testers to your site. Gender, age, income and tech expertise are fields you can specify, and you can get even more focused by include demographic characteristics in the open field. I was able to specify that the site’s audience is Internet marketers, so the testers were all familiar with SEO and search marketing. Can’t get much more targeted than that.
This screen shot was taken during a usability test video from UserTesting.com.
The resulting video and written feedback comes rolling in quick. The written comments are helpful, but the best information comes from the vocal recording the tester makes as he or she navigates the page or site. I really felt like I was getting inside the visitor’s head as I watched him click around and listened to him explain what he was thinking. As familiar as you might become with your own site, it’s easy to forget about elements that make a difference to your audience. When it’s brought to your attention through usability testing or market research, you can capitalize on it or improve upon it.
I haven’t used a usability testing service before so I have no previous experience with which to compare UserTesting.com; however, I do recognize that companies regularly spend upwards of $200 for usability testing on a site. The $29 price tag can’t be beat, and the special offer of $19 for Bruce Clay blog readers is extra sweet.