Consumers today are increasingly using digital mediums like mobile apps and websites to interact with a business’ product or service – from browsing to making a purchase. Ensuring that these digital channels offer the best user experience to the customers is critical for any business looking to grow their revenues. An effective approach to ensure that your own brand’s mobile app or website lives up to the growing expectations of today’s digital consumer is by embracingUsability Testing. In this post, we talk about the top 10 reasons why usability testing is important for a business’ mobile app or website and ultimately their business goals. First of all,

What is Usability Testing?

Usability testing is an assessment of how easy is it to use any user interface. It may not necessarily be a digital interface, however, being a digital product design and development company, we will focus on them specifically, i.e, user interfaces of mobile apps and websites like an on-demand food ordering app or an e-commerce website. The basic idea underlying usability testing is to put yourself in your customers’ shoes, identify any pain point or bad experience they might have while using your product like multiple taps to make a taxi booking and get them fixed to deliver a better user experience/UX. Usability testing should be a critical component of any product development process as it can help your business get a much higher ROI from its investment.

Top 10 reasons why your business should embrace usability testing

    1. Know the “Why” behind “What’s” not working

      Personal pc

      Say, your e-commerce website attracts a healthy number of users every day. You have analytics setup and can pull up a lot of useful metrics. The engagement is good. Customers browse for long sessions, add products to their wishlist and carts but the overall number of purchases are not that great. You have a look at the analytics data and find that a lot of users are dropping on the payment page. Basically, you have identified the problem to be a high cart abandonment rate.

      As a knee-jerk reaction, many product managers may call a designer and ask for a redesign like making labels more visible, increase text box sizes, highlight the CTA and what not. Sorry to say but you are basically shooting in the dark and this is not the way this issue needs to be handled. The problem here is that you haven’t taken the efforts to first find out why people are dropping on the payment page and not any other page.

      It’s like you go to a doctor and tell him that you have caught a cold. Some doctors may directly prescribe you the medicines without asking any further questions. You may be freed from the cold but that is not how a problem should be resolved. A good doctor would ask a sufficient number of questions about your activities in the past week, eating habits, etc to get to the root of the problem and then make the prescription.

      Similarly, A/B tests and analytics can only tell you about what is not working. You still need to do usability testing to know why it is not working

    1. It may be pretty but still be shitty

      beautiful interface but not functional

      In my childhood, once my parents bought me a beautiful eraser. I loved it so much that I never used them until I lost my regular eraser. The day I used that eraser, I started hating it as it made the pages black and almost impossible to write.

      Well, I am not saying not to make your products beautiful but make them usable as well.

      The same story can be related with many apps and websites as well. They may have a very appealing design but once people give them a try, they never come back. There has to be the right balance between attractiveness and usability. While catchy UIs play a key role in attracting your customers, good usability will make them stay.

    1. Save time by investing time

      how usability testing can save time

      If your app or website is in the design phase, there is a good reason for you to run a usability test on the prototype or design mockup. It may take some effort but you can save a ton of time and money in the long run.

      Usability and design issues which you’ll find in the development phase or post-launch can cost you a lot of time on redesign or recording. You can identify an ample amount of insights and usability flaws by running a usability test on a clickable prototype and accordingly make corrections in time.

    1. Your users can achieve their goals faster

      high user efficieny

      If your product is simple and intuitive to use, your app or website users can complete tasks more efficiently. This can be very useful for performing repetitive tasks. A user who takes 6 taps to purchase a product from your app may complete the same in 3-4 taps if workflow changes are made based on usability tests.

    1. Boost your revenues

      boost revenues with usability testing

      Products with unnecessary features, poor UI or too much information can result in high abandonment rates. A new feature addition if not done properly may make your app more complex to use for the users. For your customers, finding alternates to your service may be just a Google search away and once they are gone and happy with your competitor’s service, getting them back can be a tough task.

      Even worse, they may leave negative reviews about your service on social media platforms which may hurt your brand and ultimately your revenues.

      Watching users in action in your app or website can reveal all types of usability issues that if resolved promptly can keep your revenues steady if not growing.

    1. Build your reputation

      poor app ratings from unhappy users

      How often do you install an app with less than 3 star rating? I guess very rarely. Bad usability is often among the key reasons for poor ratings. We strongly recommend to properly test your app against multiple usability tests to increase the chances of maintaining healthy app ratings and your brand reputation.

    1. Beat the competition

      be more competitive with usability testingAcquiring a new customer is difficult but making them stay is even more challenging. Your marketing efforts can attract new customers but if your app/website is not living up to the expectations, customers will simply choose your competitors over you and vice versa.Great user experience will set you apart from your competition. We recommend you run multiple usability tests not only on your products but your competitor products as well. This will help your product team be more aware of the competition and strategically set benchmarks for your own products.

    1. Identify issues beneath the surface

      Beneath the surface

      Surface = User Interface

      Many of the designers and usability testers may think that usability testing is only about identifying surface level issues. Actually, there is more to what meets the eye. There may be a case where users have trust issues with your product like when you ask for credit card details on your site. Security alerts like “Not Secure” badge on HTTP websites can be a big deterrent for users.

      We strongly recommend that you follow “think aloud protocol” in usability testing to identify those beneath the service issues.

  1. Validate your assumptions

    how is usability testing importannt for idea validation

    UI designers may make a lot of assumptions while working on user interfaces. Assumptions like app workflows, color, and shape of CTA, text overlays, etc. While a designer should have the freedom to have his own notions. it’s a very good practice to validate them via usability tests before making further progress.

    For example, for a designer “swiping left to delete a mail” may feel a very intuitive gesture but from an actual user’s point of view, this may be counter-intuitive.

  2. Know what works and what doesn’t

    test features with usability testing

    Consider yourself in the shoes of an app’s product manager. You would be receiving a lot of feature requests and suggestions from the users which can be overwhelming. You can’t entertain every single request and some wrong choices can fill your app with bloatware. You would definitely not want that to happen.

    Running proper usability tests can enable you to see what works and what doesn’t and make better, more informed decisions about your product.

Wrapping Up!!

Steve Jobs, once said: “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” If customers are not able to figure out how to use your app or website, it doesn’t matter how clean and appealing the UI is. Usability testing is a very effective and proven way to identify and fix your product related issues to deliver an amazing user experience for your customers. Remember a little testing is better than no testing so if you can’t find 5 testers, do it with at least one. We at Mobisoft build digital software products for startups and enterprise customers that undergo rigorous usability tests to ensure that they deliver an amazing user experience for their customers. Feel free to contact our design and usability experts to improve the usability experience of your app or website and delight your users.