Remote User Testing is more than just a quick fix

Computers & TechnologyInternet

  • Author Frank Holland
  • Published December 7, 2011
  • Word count 764

Usability Testing can be the most important feature for web developers. It can give them access to a wealth of insight and data that just would just be impossible to obtain through internal forecast and development. I think the potential value User Testing can have to a brand is priceless as well, giving them enlightening feedback as to how their brand is perceived through their web presence. Most Businesses and organizations want to answer Usability questions about their website. I mean who wouldn’t want to know why potential clients were leaving before even contemplating buying?

Online behavior, business processes, brand perception and the User Experience are all areas which Usability Testing addresses. Now regardless of whether your a seasoned Usability Expert working for a large corporation or maybe just someone working for a small business who thinks User Testing might be worth looking into, it’s now available to everyone.

These unparalleled insights can give you the data on User Practices that your business needs to maintain and grow its success. Benefits of good User Testing can include increased and higher revenues due to increased sales, increased User efficiency & satisfaction and also reduced support and development costs.

Its about doing things right from the start, tuning the site so that you can see immediate results that can be developed. It can mean the difference between a good customer experience or a bad one.

Remote User Testing has witnessed rapid growth in recent years. It has become a very popular Usability Methodology and the preferred choice for many experiencing 19% growth in the last year alone. Even those who had previously put there faith in controlled lab studies have been converted. Its not surprising though. The benefits and advancements in technology have allowed it to become a far more attractive Usability Testing package.

Firstly its readily available. If you compare it to the expensive lab methodologies ask yourself, would you have the time or desire to travel to an in person test all for say $50? Well maybe but most User participants who would want involved don’t. This is emphasized when you want to test users from a specific demographic. I mean if you wanted to test people from a particular field say banking, they would have to take the time off work to respond to you and come in person. You have a much better chance of obtaining the Testing Users you want if they don’t need to leave their office or home and you get the benefit of them being in their real world environment.

Next is the geographical benefits. If you want to test users across several continents with an in person test you are faced with all the logistical and financial burdens associated with it. With Remote Usability Testing it just isn’t a problem. A Testing User survey can provide you with a widespread User Panel that was previously only conceivable for large corporations with large Usability budgets. Just a few clicks and a few days later you will have the data that would otherwise be a logistical nightmare to test users from a wide geography.

Then there’s the speed. If you are part of a design team or a Usability expert you want the data and feedback as quickly as possible. The reality of bringing an in person lab test together is challenging. Even though you may receive the data in what could be regarded as real time its then up to you to extract, quantify and analyze it, not to mention present it. The problems I encountered when I use to conduct in person tests never failed to amazed me. Participants calling off sick, late trains, and a general unreliability. With remote User Testing these challenges are pretty much eradicated and are far less of a burden on the projects success.

Another advantage is the fact that when you use remote User Testing you don’t need to have a moderator or an in house Usability expert, you delegate this to your service provider. In the case of the Testing User analysis it is the complete solution. Not only do you not need an in house expert to direct or instruct us but the feedback and data extracted can be interpreted by anyone. Once a report is commissioned we do the rest.

Users have the familiarity with our processes and feel comfortable in their own environments. Many lab studies I have conducted over the years despite the costs involved have had a noticeably fake feel to them whereby the tasks can quite patronizing to the users.

Frank Holland an experienced article writer for Testinguser.com. He has written articles on web design, website analysis, user testing and usability testing for Testing User company.

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