Why you should test your website
I’ve just finished reading Steve Krug’s excellent book on web usability called Don’t Make Me Think. It’s often the case that people (clients and web designers alike) know their websites too well. So well they can’t see them from an objective viewpoint anymore. That’s why I really like Steve’s reasoning for doing user testing:
“Testing reminds you that not everyone thinks the way you do, knows what you know, uses the Web the way you do.
“I used to say that the best way to think about testing was that it was like travel: a broadening experiene. It reminds you how different – and the same – people are, and gives you a fresh perspective on things.
“But I finally realised that testing is really more like having friends visiting from out of town. Inevitably, as you make the tourist rounds with them, you see things about your home town that you usually don’t notice because you’re so used to them. And at the same time, you realise that a lot of things that you take for granted aren’t obvious to everybody.”
User testing, no matter how little you do, quickly confirms what you thought you were doing right, and also flags some serious flaws in your design. The insights you can gain from watching someone use your site is invaluable and will help inform your decisions on how to improve your website: its overall performance and the impression it leaves on people.
Creating websites that don’t make users think is at the core of what we do here at Bluewire. Usability Brisbane: if user testing is something you’d like to explore, call Bluewire Media on 1300 258 394.