How to Make That Customer Usability Report – Usable!
No matter what type of design, layout, or optimization was used to make a website, if it cannot be used easily, then its main purpose and ultimate goal is destined for failure. It is vital to know if a website is user-friendly, which requires knowing exactly how to determine website usefulness. This is best accomplished by testing the website – which leads to another issue. The results in the terms of generated reports may be difficult to interpret or may not uncover actual user problems. So, usability reports must suit intended purposes before they can pinpoint website design useability issues before they can be corrected.
Tracking Website Usability
There are two main ways that website usability can be determined:
- Analytical Reports – Reports generated within the website to detect usage trends.
- Testing – Performing certain types of test of the website to detect problems.
Both can provide a good look at what happens when users go to a website, the purpose of the visit, and if it appears a visitor accomplished that purpose. Since one of the most important things for website design to accomplish is to get visitors from Point A to Point B easily, without frustration, and without leaving the page, this can be very valuable information. Then what happens once such information has been gathered?
Report Specific Findings
When the purpose is to determine how and where a website design is losing visitors, do not be vague. Specific details must be provided in order to learn the problems and decide on a solution; a report must provide all of those important fine points. The report should include what type of test was performed and pertinent information regarding audience, tasks, and results. It should also include initial details gathered with analytical applications. The tester must analyze the data collected either automatically or manually in order to explain what usability is reduced, why it is happening, and what should be done to correct the problem.
Organize Results By Importance
When interpreting information gathered with site testing and analytics, it is important to offer a way to fix each area. This can be done by assigning values to whatever requires a change or adjustment based on how significantly it affects general website usage. Then it is possible to recommend when and how fixes should be made to get improved results as quickly as possible by correcting the more significant issues. As an example, don’t change the website design of the URLs if the navigational menu does not work properly.
It can be difficult to express the actual effect of certain problems when it comes to website usability, since there can be many small website design issues that need attention. A good way to demonstrate such issues is to present the problem as a cumulative effect, such as showing that reduced traffic and sales are being caused by poor optimization. This will gain more attention than simply stating in a report that there is poor SEO because of the poor use of headers and navigation links or fewer conversions because the shopping cart checkout page is not readable on some screens. The best way to present such information is to report the actual statistics, note that there is room for improvement, and then list and describe all the smaller pieces that must be corrected in order to restore the website to better user functioning.
Website testing and monitoring must be ongoing, as it is an accurate way to detect problems with the website design and determine why users are having problems. Routine monitoring can take time; so it is vital to uncover and analyze usability issues and prepare detailed reports including suggested resolutions. This is the best way to keep visitors on a company’s website and create new customers at the same time!
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