Your website is a treasure trove of data that provides you with insightful information about your potential clients. You can install certain tools that let you observe how your users navigate, click, or search your site. This lets you create a more refined product based on informed decisions that remove much of the guesswork out of the equation. The success of your marketing strategy ultimately hinges on how well informed you are about your customer’s true perception of your product or website.
The only problem is that users are not willing, or are unable, to provide you with relevant information to see what works well and what doesn’t. For all their merits and positive outcomes, customer feedback forms and surveys don’t always collect accurate data. This means that a large chunk of your customer’s behavioral patterns are completely hidden from you. Not knowing what your customer wants keeps your product vulnerable to its inherent weaknesses that will continue to stay in a decadent state until you test your visitors.
Suppose you have an e-commerce business that sells mechanical keyboards and graphics cards. Your analytics page reveals that only a tiny percentage of customers are adding keyboards to their cart even though they previously showed genuine interest in going through with a purchase. You know they’re not making the purchase but you don’t know why they’re behaving this way.
It isn’t until you carry out some user testing that the solution to the problem reveals itself: perhaps your user can’t see the cart, perhaps they are facing difficulty in finding the “add-to-cart” button, or the product itself doesn’t have any information about it. As the user fumbles around for more information around your website – informant that isn’t there – you realize that there was no ‘add-to-cart’ button to lead customers to the checkout page.
User testing is a multi-faceted approach that goes beyond the website. Try to get people to test your products as well as services, whether you are selling software or physical goods. Find someone to test the product and ask them to reveal its weaknesses which you may not be too obvious to you. Sometimes an outside perspective is all it takes to improve your product and make it more appealing.
Why Is User Testing So Important?
The problem with changing a website, service, or product on a whim is simple: you don’t know what it is that needs change and hack away at the problem by emphasizing brute force over calculated decisions. Making changes to an existing structure is a costly and time-intensive endeavor. User testing helps you pinpoint areas of your website that actually need change instead of fixing things that aren’t broken, to begin with.
User testing is an on-going process that keeps you updated with changing trends and customer expectations of your product. Technology changes and so do the people that use them. Depending on surveys and customer feedback forms is a mixed bag because the results are likely going to be skewed anyway. User testing is a sure-fire way of extracting accurate and ‘real’ data that isn’t distorted by pressure from your sales team!
So go ahead and test your website and product to make it better for everyone!