peekbetaeyesGetting into user testing can be tough, especially when you feel like your “little site” won’t benefit, or it isn’t worth the hassle.

If we’re honest, I think another obstacle is it isn’t worth the potential embarrassment. Why let a stranger poke around on the premise of finding what’s wrong? It’s easier (and more comfortable) to digest impersonal, quantitative metrics instead.

So, in hopes of spurring you on past that, I’m sharing two videos of strangers reviewing this site.

Free, Fast, and Easy Usability Testing

Peek, by UserTesting.com, offers a free 5(ish)-minute video of someone seeing your site for the first time, answering a few key questions, and generally verbalizing their reactions and opinions.

In my case, I was able to get two videos—one male and one female. Especially if you’re still a little unsure of the benefit, I suggest you watch these two videos, and get an idea of what this might look like for your site. Raw, in-the-moment feedback is very helpful, even if it’s not fully-formed (or informed).

…and then?

It’s quite enlightening to hear someone talk through your website, try to determine what it’s about, and explore. The two testers had some different viewpoints, but both were helpful.

The female tester did a great job of reading through things out loud and verbalizing her thoughts. She had some trouble finding a next step after reading through the home page (which I fully intend to be more like a landing page), but eventually found her way around and gave some great insight on the images.

The male tester seemed to really take issue with the big sentences at the top of the pages when they weren’t titles for the page. I’ll admit this is somewhat uncommon, but I’m sticking with it. It was helpful indeed to know the viewpoint of at least one person on it. For the rest of it, he seemed to get around fairly easily.

After watching each of these, I totally made some changes. I made the menu bar “sticky”, and also set it at a smaller width, centered. Even though neither user pointed this out, I was able to see that their experience would’ve been enhanced by it. Discovering a potential improvement that isn’t directly discussed in a user test is a common benefit, and one of the reasons it’s worth the awkwardness.

I truly hope I’ve encouraged you to dip your toes in the water of user testing. With such an easy route to get started, and no money involved, I’m leaving you without an excuse. Go do it now. 🙂

April 18, 2014 — 1 Comment — In Uncategorized

Thanks for the warm welcome, WordCamp Phoenix! Apparently, this part of the country has absolutely no trouble showing up at 8am—the room was packed.

Since I had to shorten things up from when I last presented this, we had to skip the ever-enjoyable “Whose Line Is It, Anyway?” video I usually show first.

The slides themselves have links to my sources and are helpful in getting the gist of what we talked about. Here are some of my favorite tweets that took place during the session: