Posts Tagged ‘usability’

Build better websites through remote user testing with UsabilityHub

Gone are the days when all that was needed to create an application was a little imagination, purpose and work. Today, the world has become more user-centric with more organizations and professionals realizing that if they want to build a successful business, they need to do it right; they need to keep user preferences in mind. It’s all about UX (user experience) these days. Be it a browser based app, a mobile app or a simple website for a product / service, extensive focus is laid on the intricacies of user expectations and perception. For any organization, hitting the bull’s eye means nailing customer satisfaction. That’s the reason organizations employ dedicated UX experts to create efficient and eye-catchy designs that stick in the customers’ minds.

But creating hard-hitting designs is just one aspect of the whole task. Once created and developed, such designs need to be evaluated for their effectiveness before getting them on the floor. And that is where design test suites find their place. In the spotlight today, a brilliant online suite of tests to assess designs – UsabilityHub.

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UsabilityHub – Make confident design decisions

Designing is an area of product development that witnesses minor to major debates. Several viewpoints and suggestions come at loggerheads and finally one perfect (or seemingly so) design is finalized. But do teams and organizations ponder over the fact that the design that so appeals to them might not seem very interesting to a naïve user who doesn’t know so much about their product? To get over such and other complicated issues, test your designs with real data and simulated user responses to know how much water your designs hold. Enter UsabilityHub.

The UsablityHub suite of tests provides remote user testing for your websites or apps to help settle design debates with data. A variety of tricky yet simple experiments help you assess exactly what you want to know about your website’s impact on users. And the good part is, you can choose which users give you that feedback through a “recruit your own testers” link. The tests are in the form of surveys and differ with the kind of plan you subscribe for (free or pro). You can make a test for free and receive up to 20 responses from your own recruits with a free subscription. A Pro subscription entitles you to unlimited user responses.

UsabilityHub is a uniquely flexible tool that offers you the freedom to use it just the way you want to. You can receive responses from random or selected users that you pick by way of sharing the test links or you can order responses from UsabilityHub. “Ordering responses” means you pay a little to have UsabilityHub members (designers, UX experts, developers, students, marketers etc.) complete the tests. On average, you can expect to receive 50 responses within 20 – 30 hours.
There’s a lot more to this great suite of online tests so let’s take everything up one by one.

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How it works

There are 5 types of tests that UsabilityHub offers:

  • 5 second test – This test helps measure the clarity of your design by asking people what they can recall after viewing the design for only 5 seconds. This test is most apt for evaluating home page designs, landing pages, logos, brochures and marketing material that needs to be visually appealing in order to make a great first impression.
    To make this test, click on the “Know More” button under the test description on the main page and then click on “Make a 5 second test” on the next page (before proceeding to make the test you can take a sample test and view sample reports). You’ll be asked to sign-up and then you can upload images and decide what questions you wish to put in the test.
  • Click Test – This test measures how effective your designs are at letting people accomplish an intended task. You only need a static image of your interface for this test so you can easily test websites, software interfaces, and mobile apps in addition to mockups and wireframes.
    To make this test click on “Know More” button under the test description on the main page and then you may choose to take a sample test and view sample reports or proceed to creating the test.
  • Question Test – This test allows you to get feedback from real people with incredibly straightforward design surveys. This test can be used on any type of design. Simply upload the image and enter the questions you’d like testers to answer about it.
    To make this test click on “Know More” button under the test description on the main page and then you may choose to take a sample test and view sample reports or proceed to creating the test.
  • Navflow Test – This test lets you see how effectively users navigate around your websites and applications. Navflow tests help you improve your conversion rates and are ideal for testing checkout and signup flows. It allows you to chain your designs by selecting which areas of each screen can be clicked to allow a person to progress to the next screen.
    To make this test click on “Know More” button under the test description on the main page and then you may choose to take a sample test and view sample reports or proceed to creating the test.
  • Preference Test – This test helps you to confidently choose between two design options by asking users which one they prefer. This test is great for choosing between variations of logos, color schemes, layouts, copy, icons and interfaces. Since real users have the final say, design debates are settled quickly.
    To make this test click on “Know More” button under the test description on the main page and then you may choose to take a sample test and view sample reports or proceed to creating the test.

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Additional Features

UsabilityHub lets you decide who views your tests – for ordered responses, your tests are shown to the UsabilityHub community, for responses from recruited testers you can show the test to anyone by sharing the test link. Moreover, the tool allows you to earn credits (called karma points) by contributing to the community in the form of taking other people’s tests. Each test you complete earns you 1 point and these points can be used to order responses.
The Pro account comes with advanced features like Chaining tests together, post-test redirects, demographic surveying and targeting etc.

  • Settle design debates with data thanks to @usabilityhub usabilityhub.com/ via @supermonitoring

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Summing it up

All in all, UsabilityHub seems to be kind of a perfect tool that allows you just the kind of flexibility you want. Depending upon your need, you can choose to receive up to 20 responses with a free account, or more with a pro one. Also, it helps foster a more powerful message in the UX community – the user is the king!

Evaluate your website’s reach through UsabilityTools

Imagine you’re a web developer or website owner. From your point of view, what would be the key things towards building a successful website? Unique content, search engine optimization algorithms, attractive web design and such. After putting all of this in place and satisfying yourself of every little detail, you’d probably go ahead and launch your website. Now what would be the next step? Evaluating the impact! That’s where the truth will lie. That’s what will tell you how fruitful all the hours that went into building that website proved to be. But how would you know about the impact?

While some web development tools like WordPress offer plugins to monitor site statistics that specify the number of visitors and visits per day, even such plugins have limits. They don’t include everything. They don’t highlight which areas on your website are gaining maximum attention and which minimum. Plus, everyone doesn’t use WordPress. So then how would you evaluate user impact and gain insights to your website’s reach to its target audience? Through unique and brilliant online utilities like UsabilityTools!

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UsabilityTools – See your website as a user would!

UsabilityTools is a web portal that brings together some of the most amazing features that can help website owners capture visual conversion insights and analyze them to increase conversions on actionable user insights. By capturing user gestures like mouse hovers and clicks on specific buttons, text or other areas on your website, this portal helps you know exactly “what” on your website is attracting the most users and “how” you can improve the areas that aren’t as appealing.

Here’s a brief glance over this tool’s features:

  • By enabling you to capture mouse movement, UsabilityTools helps you discover the difference between the most and the least converting user behaviors.
  • Unique engagement metrics feature helps you find out which users make the most clicks during their visits thus spotting conversion barriers and usability issues.
  • Supports smooth playback of user recordings of any resolutions on mobile devices, tablets as well as desktops.
  • It works just as well with static and dynamic websites. Even if your website has carousel forms and drop-downs, that’s not a problem.

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There are 3 basic utilities or more correctly, tools offered by UsabilityTools, viz. UX Suite, Conversion Suite and Voice of Customer.

UX Suite is an online suite of small testing utilities to evaluate the User Experience through your website. It includes Click Testing (to validate design concepts), Web Testing (to optimize usability remotely), Survey (where you can ask users questions and get answers) and Card Sorting (to organize your website such that it makes sense to your audience). Since everything is online, it enables an extremely efficient way of remote testing that’s 100% browser based without the need for any plugins or special hardware.

Conversion Suite is where the real power of UsabilityTools lies. Here you can actually translate user-browsing patterns into actionable insights. By tracking how your users are viewing your website, where they are leaving the pages where they are paying attention etc., you can eliminate confusion causing fields and make your forms and other content more suitable to user preferences thereby increasing your site traffic.

Voice of Customer is where you get to directly interact with your customers. Ask them questions and get real-time feedback with no technicalities. Here you can customize feedback forms so as to establish better relationships with your users.

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How it rolls

To try out the conversion suite you’ll have to sign-up for a free 14 day trial. Signing up is smooth and free. Once you do, you are allowed to create a new project. Give it a unique name and go ahead to adding scripts to your website by copying them from UsabilityTools. Or if you find yourself confused you can send an email message to the team to seek their help. A convenient tutorial is provided to help you out along the way. It contains screenshots etc to give an idea of how things should look once rolling.

To try out the UX Suite hit the “Try as a participant” button on the UX Suite page and you’ll be redirected to a survey. It is simple to follow and follows a click-next approach.

For anything else that you’d like to try out, there are plenty of “Talk to us” buttons that strangely instead of taking you straightaway to the contact us form, direct you to the pricing page first. Call it their marketing strategy, but we found it rather unnecessary. A simple redirection to the contact us form would’ve been good.

Pros VS Cons

Well, it may sound harsh, but it was a bit tough to find a plus point to this tool. The idea behind it is good but somehow, using the utilities is not very simple. It is very difficult and confusing to understand what to do with the tool and how to use it. The website look is fine, navigation menus are okay etc, but to what end? From a user’s point of view, only if you are very familiar with such kind of tools can you figure out what to do with this tool.

Plus every time you wish to clear your confusion by hitting the “Talk to us” button, you’re first redirected to the Pricing page that makes you think the makers are interested in earning from the service first and making it of use to customers later.

  • Build a better web experience for your users by knowing what they’re liking: @usabilitytools usabilitytools.com/ via @supermonitoring

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Final Verdict

All in all, not a very recommended tool since it is quite confusing to deal with and figure out. We honestly couldn’t comprehend why it was made. Maybe we started off at the wrong foot. But there would be a lot of people out there who’d also land up where we did. So maybe there should’ve been something there to help people understand what it’s all about. What an irony, a tool that’s aimed at helping people improve visual conversion insights has quite poor visual insights itself!

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