The importance of usability testing

Al Catel
Al Cattell
Director of Platforms

Spend time with your customers to increase online revenue


Your site is underperforming

All websites and ecommerce stores suffer from the same problem. 

You're missing out on revenue.

And the major cause is that your site is hard to use. You're not alone. 87% of businesses we interviewed recently haven't spoken to their customers in the last two years.

This is a mistake. Your customers are the very people who can explain why they didn't buy from you. Where they got lost on your site. The level of frustration they felt trying to work out what to do next.

Your customers are the best people to highlight areas of investment in the site. 

The answer is simple, and can generate a huge return - Usability testing.



Why is Usability Testing important? 

Usability Testing will define a clear set of measurable improvements for your site. By implementing the improvements you will increase conversion, sales, revenue (and be held up as a hero of your company's digital transformation on your next Zoom call).

When we describe usability, this includes the following aspects of your site:

  • Is it intuitive? Customers can perform actions without having to think - e.g. no-one needs a user manual to use Facebook.
  • How efficient is it to use? How many clicks to find what I'm looking for?
  • What errors are happening? Where do people get stuck / break things?
  • What do customers remember? What parts of the experience can visitors recall, and how easily could they use the site again?
  • How satisfied are the customers? How happy or not is the customer when using the site - you'll typically want to reduce frustration as a metric

The typical outcomes you might focus on include:

  • Completion: Are customers able to complete specified tasks successfully?
  • Time: How long does it take to complete specified tasks?
  • Satisfaction: How satisfied are customers with your digital experience? 
  • Implementation plan: Prioritise changes needed to improve the above 
  • Analysis plan: Update your data capture on site to be able to test and measure your changes (important!)


What is required to run Usability Testing

It doesn't need to be long, expensive or time consuming. In fact 20 years ago (!!!) the Nielsen Norman group produced this chart showing that you only need to speak to 5 customers to drive insight:


As they say:

"The most striking truth of the curve is that zero users give zero insights.

As soon as you collect data from a single test user, your insights shoot up and you have already learned almost a third of all there is to know about the usability of the design. The difference between zero and even a little bit of data is astounding."

This is fundamentally true. But as we have seen, and as you probably know... it is not a common place practice in non-digital first brands. 

You can engage your existing agency, or work with a new partner to deliver the work. It is a process that will take weeks, not months. It will give you clear actionable outcomes which will result in real business impacts, helping you delight your customers and grow your business. And it will be one of the best investments you make to reach your digital potential, faster.


Some examples from Candyspace clients: 

A 200% increase in traffic to online store, and a 100% increase in sales (Consumer drinks brand).

Our automotive client saw a 12x increase in downloads of pricing documents as a result of learnings from our Usability Study.

A 10x growth in community members (Major engineering company).

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