Your creative design team has delivered a spectacular new website for your business. It looks amazing, but does it work? Testing a website to see how it functions for your visitors is vital. Our attention span and patience when visiting a website is growing shorter. If your visitors find it hard to use your site, they won’t hang around. Here are five ways to make sure your website brings high-fives instead of high embarrassment.

5 approaches to successful website user testing

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1. A/B Testing

A robust way of testing usability is to randomly assign visitors to one of two slightly different versions of your website and then analyse the effects that the different versions have. Even the slightest change can have a massive impact on the overall visitor experience, bringing better engagement, more sales and more referrals and links.

2. Click Testing

The old cliché of “first impressions matter” is not just about face-to-face meetings; it also plays a major role in user testing. Analysing where users click first and what is attracting them to click gives you powerful information.

3. Remote Testing

What works and makes sense in one country and to one culture is often not the case further afield. It is a worldwide web, so it makes sense to test the user experience of your website around the globe. Gathering opinions from users in several countries will bring great insight and may even open up new opportunities that you might not have previously considered.

4. Professional Testing

To ensure all aspects of the functionality of a website are considered, it can be beneficial to employ a professional website testing company, such as, to functionality requirements, such as those recommended by W3C.

5. Paper Testing

Paper testing is a cheap and cheerful way to get a feel for how a site will work at the early design stage. Creating rough sketches of the interface helps communicate ideas between the design team and gets an early impression from end users of its likely appeal.

Choosing not to consider the user experience of your website is a sure-fire way to incur expensive redesigns and lose visitors and customers. However you ultimately decide that you want to go about gathering opinions about your website’s usability, make sure that you do not skip this vital step.