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A Beginners Guide To User Testing in WordPress

A Beginners Guide To User Testing in WordPress

Times when businesses could’ve afforded having an unoptimized website with flaws and an unappealing design are long gone. Today, there are fewer users who are patient. Most will quickly leave your website if they don’t get what they want.

The market is full of other options and users know that. If you don’t value them enough, they can just search for your competition. This might be enough of a reason for you to start thinking about how to improve the user experience on your website.

User experience is an integral part of online business. In order to create a positive interaction with visitors, your WordPress website should have:

  • Great navigation between pages
  • Impeccable functionality
  • Pleasing-to-the-eyes design
  • Easily accessible information
  • Responsiveness for all devices

Everything in the digital world is sped up, so seconds separate website visitors from becoming potential clients. Today’s average consumers are so spoiled that they expect your website to load in milliseconds, with all of your features working properly while being visually pleasing and attractive. In fact, a mere 2-second delay might increase bounce rates by 103%!

Optimizing your website is something that’s measurable as a solid metric using the speed of loading a page. It’s also useful to consider having a website ranking checker at hand to make the right SEO decisions. On the other hand, things like features, elements, design, etc., are influenced more by your target group. Certain things can be predicted, but in order to make conversions, most of them should be tailored to the needs of your target audience.

This is why you need real feedback, to see what elements you’re missing and whether you’re on the right track. The best option is — user testing!

What is user testing?

What is user testing?

Simply put, user testing is the process of evaluating your product. It relies on user input in order to get realistic results. In this case, it’s the evaluation of your WordPress website, its features, content, loading speed, design, and more. When conducting a user test, you get real feedback from a person navigating through your WordPress website.

During these tests, you should also keep track of users’ comments, their behavior, and the problems they encounter. These results will help you understand which parts of your site aren’t satisfactory and which are!

These tests are important for the user experience as they can provide you with valuable information, which proved to improve the revenue of many companies.

Pick out users to test

Pick out users to test

You can test your website by yourself, but with so much time and energy invested you might be subjective and can miss out on some important aspects. While you can pick out features that you need to test and inspect every page and its functionalities on your own, we recommend that you choose someone unbiased.

Another option is to allow your co-workers, friends and family to test your WordPress website. Guide them throughout your pages, let them try out features and give you their comments along the way.

The best user testing strategy is to find a group of people who aren’t, in any way, connected to you and your project. You want unbiased people who’ll give you an honest opinion.

Ideally, you’ll want to find a group of people similar to your target audience, combined with people you might not consider as potential customers. This is because most businesses have sporadic customers and you want to get valuable data from a broader group. A mixture of people might give the best results.

Finding a user testing group shouldn’t be that complicated. There are companies specialized in providing you with users that are willing to test your product, or in this case, your WordPress website. They can pick out the right audience so that you can get the most valuable results.

Select what you want to focus on

Select what you want to focus on

Before you start preparing your user tests, you should select important parts of your site to focus on. Prepare questions about the design of your website, the content, how certain features and actions work, which information users should be able to find easily, and prepare important tasks that you want your users to test.

Some of these examples are worth testing:

  • Contacting customer support (for example, you can check what works best for your target audience using the ‘Call us now’ button or live chat)
  • Purchasing an item
  • Using the search bar and selecting different filters
  • Signing up for a newsletter
  • Registering an account
  • Finding the location of your business

Different websites have specific tasks to complete. Figure out which ones are the most important for your business and test them the most!

Different types of user tests

Different types of user tests

To be efficient when testing, you should plan out the whole process from start until the end. It’s usually done in the form of an interview, or by having users conduct certain tasks. This means you need to choose what types of test users will take, selecting the right questions to ask and preparing tasks for users to execute.

When we’re talking about types of user tests, the options are:

1. Moderated vs. unmoderated tests:

The difference is in having a supervisor guide the tester throughout the test. Moderated testing is great for getting in-depth results because the supervisor directs the participant in an organized way.

Unmoderated tests can prove to be more realistic, as they mimic the real process of a user being alone when landing on your website. But here, answers can remain superficial without the option of follow-up questions.

2. Remote vs. in-person tests:

This one doesn’t need much explaining, but the main difference is that an in-person test allows the interviewer to observe and analyze body language.

3. Explorative vs. assessment vs. comparative testing

Explorative tests are open-ended, meaning that the participants can brainstorm, think out loud, give comments about concepts and ideas.

An assessment test is used to understand the participant’s level of satisfaction with your features and functionality.

Comparative testing is used when you have a different set of options for a certain feature, and you want participants to choose which one they prefer. Or, you can provide them with your competitor’s features next to your own, so you can understand how you compare to them.

Prepare the test

Prepare the test

Choosing the right questions for your test depends on the needs of your WordPress website, but we can give you a glimpse of how you should prepare them.

First off, you’ll want to differentiate your testing audience by asking them some conceptual questions. This way you can understand what level of knowledge they have about concepts, the internet, websites, features and many more. Doing so will help you separate the users who are more relevant to your project. But don’t neglect the others, as you will never have a homogeneous target group!

Next, you need to define what are the most important aspects of your site for an average consumer. Ask them if they were able to find crucial information, such as your store location, the price of your products, tutorials, descriptions, info from your “about us page”, etc.

Include questions about what users liked, disliked, couldn’t understand, etc. Follow up with questions about what they believe is missing and what parts are sufficient. Talking to them in a conversational tone might give the best answers.

You should screen-record the test when navigating through the website to learn more about consumer behavior. Video recording users while they’re interacting with your website can give you a more in-depth analysis because you can observe their body language, for a complete understanding.

Interviewing users is quite important, but having them handle tasks is also a way to get valuable information. We suggest you conduct these tests by recording both the screen and them, with a supervisor. The supervisor can guide them or just talk to them to get live comments while executing tasks.

Determine which tasks are the most important for you. Things like signing up for the newsletter, completing a whole purchase process, leaving behind a testimonial, finding certain pieces of information like the location of an offline store, are among the tasks that can be tested. You’ll know which tasks are the crucial ones for you.

Prepare thoroughly because this test can provide you with very beneficial information that can have a great impact on your business!

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Things to note

Following these methods, you can understand how your website is performing and what to analyze. However, there are no strict rules to user testing. What you’ll want to test and what type of feedback you’ll be looking for will probably vary depending on your site and the industry you’re in. But here’s a few additional things to remember that hold true for most sites.

You should note every comment your users had while navigating through your WordPress website. Whether it was intended for the interviewer to hear, or if they were thinking aloud, note it down. These comments might help you because, in a lot of cases, they are the most sincere.

Write down how long it took for them to find specified information. You can determine which information is important, and if it took long for them to find it — it’s time for a change.

Note which tasks weren’t easy to execute and keep track of whether users understood what was asked of them. You should write down the time they needed to complete each task. Sometimes people lose concentration and give up on buying a certain item if it takes too long. Write down the time for each participant so you get a better picture. The longer it takes for a participant to complete a task, the higher the chances are of real users bouncing off your website later.

Conclusion

Getting feedback on your WordPress website is important in order to have a successful launch. No matter how much you and your co-workers test your site, you’ll never have an objective feel of how it looks and works.

That is why we believe that having unbiased users test your website is of utmost importance. You’ll get surprising insights when working with real people!

Conducting these tests can be simple and easy, and even if it’s not — in the end, the results can be so valuable that they will be worth the effort.

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