18 Oct 2023
Bincy K R
Senior QA Engineer
Usability is about people and how they understand and use things, not about technology, and while technology often changes quickly, people change very slowly.
The user interface is the key to successful applications today, and it also holds true for the eCommerce industry. It just takes a few seconds for a customer to decide whether the site is worth their time or not. Those few seconds are our only chance to reel a potential customer in.
Now, what can be done to attract the user?
The answer is a User experience.
Usability testing aims at gathering as much feedback as possible on how real users interact with the application as early as possible and as often as possible. This enables product businesses to identify design issues before the application reaches the final build.
Usability or user experience (UX) testing is the process of measuring how easy an application flow or design is to use with a group of testers or real-life users. It usually involves observing users as they attempt to complete tasks and can be done for different types of designs. Unlike most forms of software testing, real users are involved in performing usability testing along with professional testers. Only through various usability testing methods can the product stakeholders know unbiased opinions regarding the application’s likes, dislikes, struggles, and uniqueness. While testers may run different usability testing methods to test the application’s ease of usage, the process typically involves a real-life user or tester using the application or performing a series of tasks to ensure they are delivered with a great user experience.
Useful: Does it do something people need to do?
Learnable: Can people figure out how to use it?
Memorable: Do they have to relearn it each time they use it?
Effective: Does it get the job done?
Efficient: Does it do it with a reasonable amount of time and effort?
Desirable: Do people want it?
Web designers and usability professionals have spent a lot of time over the years debating how many times we can expect users to click (or tap) to get what they want without getting too frustrated. Some sites even have design rules stating that it should never take more than a specified number of clicks (usually three, four, or five) to get to any page on the site. On the face of it, the “number of clicks to get anywhere” seems like a useful metric. But over time what really counts is not the number of clicks it takes to get to what the user wants (although there are limits), but rather how hard each click is the amount of thought required, and the amount of uncertainty about whether the user is making the right choice. In general, users don’t mind a lot of clicks as long as each click is painless and they have continued confidence that they’re on the right track following what’s often called the “scent of information.”
1. Uplifts the omnichannel experience
When users log on to an eCommerce application or website only to find out it fails to give the desired experience, then it adversely affects the online retailer’s loyalty. Usability testing for websites ensures customers are served with effective UX and sustains their brand interest. The significant ease of usage and excellent UX motivate users to continue to prefer the same brand over competitors.
2. Measures the application’s learning curve
Today, users do not want to invest their time learning how to use an app and expect everything to be simplified. Hence, the learning curve behind an application should be the least. If the application is complex to use, users will replace it with the nearest competitor. Further, if usability testing is performed at the prototyping stage, it helps to detect issues early and understand the user’s success rate and time spent completing any task. Hence, conducting usability testing correctly and at the right time eliminates the risk of launching the wrong product and saves time, money, and resources for businesses
3. Identify the ease of usage
Usability testing, a black box testing technique, establishes whether the users feel the ease of use within the application or website. Ease of use will deliver better end-user retention, ensure more downloads, and help uphold brand identity.
4. Measures the effectiveness of the user interface
Usability tests identify the preliminary design issue with the user interface at the first level and highlight specific issues that could not be considered during the initial design phase.
5. Provides usability insights early
The goal of usability testing is to better understand how real-time users interact with the product and how to improve product usage based on the results. In a typical usability test, real-time users try to accomplish formulated goals or tasks with a product under controlled conditions to derive defined results.
● Poor app design
While ensuring the eCommerce website or application delivers the best possible user experience, striking the right balance between an overly naive and cluttered portal is important. In the same way, featuring too many categories or pages is often overwhelming for consumers, making it quite a task to perform basic actions. Eventually, finding an alternative provider becomes more appealing. Ideally, the eCommerce store site should be designed in a way that the visitors absorb everything at first glance and navigate throughout.
● Missing or inefficient feedback system
A reliable feedback system is one of the critical pillars of a successful eCommerce business. To ensure an online store runs seamlessly, it is essential to have a responsive and proactive feedback system that reflects user actions. This feedback system analyzes how consumers interact with the eCommerce platform and makes the necessary adjustments. When data is collected and site updates are made, a continuous feedback loop with constant updates should be executed to meet the user demand. Failure to engage with the visitors as per the feedback system may lead to a poor usability experience for potential customers.
● Inefficient CTA buttons ( call to action )
Concerns with CTA buttons are common and directly affect the eCommerce sales metrics. CTA buttons tell customers how to navigate the online store, what to buy, and where the products are, eventually steering the visitors toward a purchase. If the CTAs are inefficient or positioned incorrectly, they are not able to generate the desired sales
Usability Testing identifies crucial usability issues before the product is launched. It helps determine the usability standards for the target audience. It also helps to gather real-time feedback from the target audience using an application. Usability Testing has proven to decrease support costs, increase user satisfaction, and save big on development and redesign costs.
Usability testing is a powerful approach that empowers businesses to deliver exceptional user experiences, driving success in today’s competitive market. By gaining valuable insights into user behavior, identifying design flaws, and enhancing overall user satisfaction, businesses can establish strong relationships with their customers. Moreover, usability testing aligns business goals with user needs, fostering growth and profitability.
As technology continues to advance, incorporating usability testing into the product development lifecycle becomes even more crucial. By embracing usability testing, businesses demonstrate their commitment to user-centricity and pave the way for continued success. So, don’t overlook the impact of usability testing – embrace it and witness the transformative results it can bring to our organization.