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Usability testing: What to test

Posted by Jacob Creech on May 24th, 2011

When you have decided that you want to usability test, one of the first things you have to consider is what you are going to usability test. Although this may sound like a very straightforward question, there are a number of facets you need to consider to make your test successful and to ensure you are testing the right things.

Of course, what you are trying to test can vary a lot depending on the product or service you are working on, but there are some simple rules that you can follow to ensure you get the best, most effective results you can from your testing process.

What to consider when usability testing:

What do users do on your site/service?

Do you know what your users do when they come to your site or are using your service? How do they get from place to place? What sort of information are they trying to find? Do they follow the path that you’d imagine?

There a number of different ways you can work this out, but one of the easiest is looking at your analytics data. Not using analytics? Check out Clicky (which has free and premium options) for a great, user friendly analytics experience.

Clicky analytics - what are users looking for?

Use your analytics data to see what's popular.

From your analytics data you can get an idea of where users are going, how they are getting there, and how long they spend in each place. If you discover all of your users are looking for your contact information, then you might want to make your contact information more prominent. If you find everyone is using your search box in order to find a certain your blog or your about page, you might consider making those areas more prominent.

Try this on for an exercise: ask a friend or family member to use your site or service, and see if they can complete some common tasks. If they can complete the tasks, did they use the method that you would have thought? If they didn’t complete it, what tripped them up? You’d be surprised at the huge array of different ways people complete seemingly simple or obvious tasks.

Chrome - searching for google

Google-ing for Google. Yes, it happens.

To this day, I never cease to be astounded by the amount of people who type ‘Google’ into the Chrome address bar, or even into the Firefox ‘Search’ bar. You will find the same astounding things by testing on your own site.

Once you’ve seen how your users really use your site, and the sort of information that they are looking for, you can then think of testing questions that will cover these points, and using your test results, you can streamline the process to make it as efficient and enjoyable as possible. You will be surprised how large a difference even a few small changes can make to your users.

What do you want users to achieve?

What are you goals for your site or service? What do you want users to do when they arrive? What do you want them to achieve?

Goal: sign up for IntuitionHQ

We want users to sign up to IntuitionHQ. Hint.

Write down a list of goals, and think of all the things that are really important for your site or service. It might be subscribing to your RSS feed, it might be finding your blog content, it might be a link to your LinkedIn profile. Whatever it is, however many points there are, write them all down and then go ahead and test them.

If your users can manage to do all these simple tasks in good time, then you don’t need to worry, but in my experience 99.9% of sites and have some sort of tweaks they could make that would improve the overall experience of using the site.

Google vs Bing Usability Test

Look at the average click time and the location of clicks. A clear win for Google.

In our recent comparison of the Google and Bing search engines (the UI, not the actual search results) we found a number of small tweaks that even major search engines like these could make. It may not sound like much, but each second you shave off, or each time you make a small tweak that makes things easier to find or understand, a user is that much more likely to return to your site, or to use your app.

Of course, the more that users can achieve your goals, that happier you should be as well, so it’s definitely worth testing to ensure that this is happening.

What are the important features of the site/app?

As well as the important goals that you’d like people achieve, there are also probably a number of things you’d like users to notice on your site. Can they even tell what the site is about when the arrive there? Can they find your pricing page? Can they find the sign up or sign in button?

Easy website usability testing - IntuitionHQ

We want people to remember our tagline, and to have easy access to important pages

You know best what are the most important features, that along with your previously mentioned goals that you would like users to notice. If even a small percentage of people can’t find the pricing page, this might prevent them from signing up and have an impact on your bottom line. There are many apps and services that I’ve come across that seem to be lacking a pricing page, or the link to it is impossible to find – it’s enough to prevent me signing up, and I’m sure I’m not the only one. A quick test will show just how visible your pricing page is.

What about the message you want users to take away after viewing your site? Why not ask them what element of your site stands out the most? When users come to the IntuitionHQ site, we want them to remember that we are a quick, easy usability testing service. What do you want your users to remember? Do a test to make sure the message they are taking away is what you want it to be.

What next?

Once you’ve considered all the important points of your site, what the users are looking for, and what you’d like them to achieve, make a list and think of questions you can use to test each point. If you’ve got a couple of different ideas you’d like to test against each other, why not run an A/B test? Want to see what your users prefer? A preference test will help you out there.

Our experience shows that tests with 15 or less questions are much more effective and less likely to have a drop off in respondents. Any more than 15 questions and users start to get distracted. Think of the most important points and try and fit them all into one test. If you have many more than 15 points, run a second test.

Think carefully about the wording of your questions, and keep an eye out for our upcoming post on writing great questions for usability tests. Try not to lead your users in a certain direction with the way in which you word your questions, or your results will lose some validity.

Hopefully this post gives you some ideas about what you should be testing and why it’s important. If you have any questions, please ask in the comments below and we’ll do our best to help you out. Happy testing.

Don’t forget to subscribe to our RSS feed for more great usability testing tips and advice, as well as our upcoming article on how to write great questions for usability testing. Thanks for dropping by!


10 Great Reasons to Usability Test

Posted by Jacob Creech on May 13th, 2011

For all the tips I give on usability testing, explanations of how to get started, the reviews of different services I do, I get a very large number of people asking me why they should actually test in the first place (as if those examples weren’t enough!).

Today I’d like to present (in no particular order) a quick post on 10 reasons that everyone should perform usability testing. Read on to see a few reasons I think you should run usability tests, and be sure to add your own reasons in the comments below.

10 Reasons to Usability Test

Door usability fail

1) Improve usability

It (should) goes without saying, usability testing will improve the usability of your sites, apps, user interface, or whatever else you are designing. Imagine publishing a magazine or newspaper without having an editor read it first; that’s effectively what you are doing by launching a site without usability testing.

Usability testing will show up all those little navigation and ui problems, will help you discover all sorts of tweaks you can make, and will give you a whole new understanding of how users interact with your site or app – extremely valuable information to have at your fingertips.

2) Improve user experience

Following on from improved usability is an improved user experience. If users have to spend too much time looking for your ‘add to cart’ or ‘subscribe by RSS‘ button they simply won’t bother. After implementing the results of your testing, you will remove the vast majority of these issues for the vast majority of your users, and they will enjoy using your site or app so much more because of it.

See what colour blind people see

3) Improve accessibility

I recently wrote a post on the user experience of colour, and was really interested to find in the comments a huge number of people pointed out how colour can have a huge impact on accessibility; roughly 8% of men and .5% of women are colour blind so that is a huge group you have to consider.

There are all sorts of things that can affect usability aside from colour blindness, and the best way to find them is to get out there, test your site or app, and see what you find.

4) Produce more satisfied clients

The better their site works, the happier your clients will be. If users spend more time on the site, and are more likely to recommend it to others, they will be very happy. This is what a usable site with a good user experience can do, and this is what usability testing can do for your site or app.

Of course, the happier your clients are, the more likely they are to use your service again in the future, and the more likely they are to recommend you to others as well. All good things for you.

Use social media for usability testin

5) Make users feel involved

We frequently receive feedback from IntuitionHQ users who are surprised to find how much their users enjoy and appreciate being part of the testing process. It means the users take some ownership of the site, and feel much more attached to it.

Including users in the testing process really helps contribute to a sense of community, and that is something all sites or apps should be looking to build.

6) Save time

It’s much easier and faster to know what needs fixing when you’ve got results in front of you showing just what is wrong in the first place. The sooner you can fix things, the sooner you can move forward with your project, and the better it will be because of it. You really can save a ton of time by usability testing.

Avoid design by committee

7) Avoid design by committee

Ever been to one of those meetings where every man and his dog has an opinion on why this button should be there, that colour should be 2 shades lighter, and why the design expert is wrong in a dozen other ways?

Having results from usability testing can show all the reasons why things are the way they are, or how they should be different. It’s very hard to argue when you’ve got a bunch of results from users showing what the best design or user interface would be.

8) Develop a new skill set

One of the best ways to learn a new skill is by getting out there and doing it. Set up a test on your own site or app, and see what you find. Questions? Get out there on Twitter or Facebook and ask questions, talk about usability testing and user experience and you will learn a heap.

Keep making the most of the resources at your disposal, and you will learn a lot in no time at all. The more testing the do, the more you will understand, and the more impact your testing will have because of it. It’s really a circle of greatness.

Definition of reputation

9) Improve your own reputation

There are a million and one web and app developers out there, and although there is some (read: huge) variation in quality between these different developers, it’s hard to always stand out in a crowded market. Developing a reputation for producing usable, enjoyable websites will help set you apart from others. Happy clients who recommend you to others will help you stand out. Even offering a usability testing service in the first place will help you stand out.

It’s true for business owners too; if your site provides a better, more usable experience than the competition, users will be much more likely to return and spend money or time with your site, and all of these will do wonders for your business.

The more positive ways you stand out from those around you, the better your business will do, and easier life will be for you.

10) Add to your bottom line

Usability testing, and an understanding of usability is something you can really sell people on. Once they can see the benefits of usability testing, they will be pressing you to add this to your service, and it is something people are more than prepared to pay for. For example, setting up a test on IntuitionHQ costs only $9, but where the value lies is you expertise at setting up the test, interpreting the results, and improving usability as a result.

So now what?

Hopefully this post helps you to see the benefits of usability testing. Remember, going out and testing doesn’t have to take much money, and can even help save you time. It makes you stand out from the competition, and it will make users and clients love you.

As Jakob Neilsen said, “A bad website is like a grumpy salesperson”, and the inverse is also a true. A good, usable, enjoyable website is a great salesman; the one that will help you get your foot in the door.

Get out there today, do some testing, and help make the internet a better place, one website at a time. Happy testing!

Are there any other points you’d like to see added to this list? What has your experience taught you? Be sure to let us know in the comments.

And don’t forget to subscribe to our RSS feed to keep up to date with all the latest developments in the usability community.


A/B and Preference Testing for Usability

Posted by Jacob Creech on April 14th, 2011

One of the most frequently asked questions we receive here at IntuitionHQ is from users who are interested in A/B testing, preference testing and usability, but who don’t know what kind of test is right for them, what kind of results they could expect with each kind of test, or even how to get started with usability testing in the first place.

We addressed the last issue in a previous post, ‘How to get started with usability with usability testing in seven simple steps‘, but the first two questions can still be quite confusing. It’s worth addressing the differences between these two types of tests, because both can be very useful for gathering certain types of information. Read on to read what kind of information each test is best for, and help learn what is the best kind of test for you.

A/B and Preference Testing for Usability

A/B Usability Testing

A/B Testing is a very popular method for testing variations in live sites; you can have two different variations of a text, button or whatever and find which one works best. This is achieved by sending roughly 50% of the sites traffic to the different vartiations (either A or B – not both) and seeing which one works best. Two useful options for this are Google Website Optimizer and Visual Website Optimiser – both of these tools are very handy for testing on live sites.

A/B usability testing is a very similar concept. Whatever ideas you have to test, whatever variations you can think of, you just upload them, set a task, and see which one works best. The great thing about this is you don’t need to make changes to your live site, and it’s easy to add multiple tasks to test different variations.

A/B usability testing is great for testing alternatives, for example navigation structure, button designs, button locations – basically anything where even a small variation could make a difference to the end user and the usability of your site, service or product.

Preference testing

Preference testing is when two images/wireframes/screenshots are shown side by side, and users can make a choice on which one they prefer based on the test criteria that you set for them – generally along the lines of a ‘which design do you prefer’ kind of basis.

Preference testing is really useful for testing a range of different things: it can help you to better understand conventions in design (as shown in our ‘The User Experience and Psychology of Colour’ article on Spyre Studios), for looking at preferences across cultures, for understanding how small differences can affect your users and so on. As with A/B usability tests, there is a huge range of different things you could test in this way, and ways that your site could benefit from this kind of testing.

Some examples: A/B and Preference tests

Of course, it’s easy to talk about these different testing methods, but the most effective way to understand what they really mean is to see them in action:

A/B testing

One great example of this is a test we did comparing Bing and Google. Obviously the objectives of the two sites is very similar, but the way they are structured is quite different. We wanted to find which one worked better – not about search results, but in terms of usability and optimisation.

Bing heatmap results

We looked at some of the more common goals that both of the search engines would be trying to achieve. In the example above, we’ve used finding advertising as part of our test – advertising being a crucial part of the business for any search engine. In the first part of the test, users are either directed to either a screenshot of Bing or Google, and try and find the link to advertise with that provider.

A/B test heatmap results - Google vs Bing

When looking at the results (shown above – click to enlarge) we can see that not only is the average click time for Google much lower in this example (just over 7 seconds to almost 11 seconds), but also that the success rate of users finding the correct button is much higher (77% for Google versus 65% to Bing).

What this means is that Bing should really focus more on the location of this button, and trying to make it more visible. Obviously the easier, more straight forward it is to advertise, the more people will advertise. Even a 1 or 2 percent bump to their advertising spend would mean significant revenue for the company.

If you are interested you can also take the test or view the results.

Preference testing

We recently wrote an article over at Spyre Studios talking about The User Experience and Psychology of Colour. It was based on the colour of labels they use at Clicky, a web analytics tool – where they often use red to display confirmation/positive messages as well as for failure/warning messages.

Colours and Psychology - heatmap testing

What our testing showed with quite an overwhelming majority is that most people (88% in our tests) associate red with failure.

Colours and Psychology - heatmap testing

It also showed that red was the colour that stands out the most, although as I argued in my post, this doesn’t make it a good reason to use it for all types of messages. Certainly if it’s overused, it will stop having much effectiveness.

Colours and Psychology - heatmap testing - red warning text

And indeed, what we can see for the above image is that most users think red makes the most sense for warning text – a huge 97% of users chose red for warning text. Another question in the test had 74% of users choosing green for their success message. You can take the whole test here, or view the results here.

While these might be the results you’d expect in this example, there are many times where based on culture, gender, age or a number of other factors that people would choose different options in this type of testing. If you want to make your website as effective as possible for your audience, you should really perform this type of testing.

What next?

So now you (hopefully) know the difference between A/B usability testing and Preference testing, you can work out which is the best option for you next time you are getting ready to test.

This brings us to the last point, which is frequency of testing; obviously in the earlier stages of design and development there is more testing to be done, but a key point to remember is constant, consistent usability testing to monitor for small changes in the internet psyche, and to adjust to the ever changing network. If you ever have an inspiration on how you could improve your site, test it and see how it works in reality. It’s never a bad time to test.

As I’ve quoted time and time again, ‘Build it and they will come; build it well and they will come back’. The better, more usable, more enjoyable your website, the better it will be for you and your users, and the more successful you and your site will be in the long run. How can you afford not to test? Why not head over to our homepage and sign up for your free IntuitionHQ account today. It’s always a good time to get started with testing.

Do you have questions or comments about this article, or usability testing in general? Feel free to ask – we love to help. And don’t forget to subscribe to our RSS feed to keep up to date with all the latest news in usability.


The Dangers of Design By User and Other Interesting Tweets

Posted by Jacob Creech on March 11th, 2011

A range of interesting Tweets this week, including the Dangers of Design By User which has stirred up a lot of debate. The avalanche of mobile related tweets continues, and there are some really interesting tweets for both designers and developers. Mobile usability is definitely one big part of this, and something we have a particular interest in.

There is also a range of other interesting topics ranging from marketing for startups to the search for the perfect CAPTCHA. Read on to find out more, starting with a quick look at the state of Wikipedia:

Awesome video/visualisation: The State of Wikipedia http://ow.ly/49Bzd #wiki #online #design

Neat video produced for the anniversary of Wikipedia – worth a look for all the Wiki fans out there.

The Dangers of Design by User: http://ow.ly/49HT3 #usability #UX #design #webdesign

Interesting post on a topic near and dear to many a designers heart. Pity the site is so… purple, but still a good read.

Use (or looking to use) personas as part of your process? Check out this persona template: http://ow.ly/49Ccb #usability #UX #UCD #personas

Really nifty little template to speed up the process of making personas, and save you some thinking too.

Silly CAPTCHA - unreadable
Um, what?

Really interesting post – In Search Of The Perfect CAPTCHA: http://ow.ly/48UIW #usability #UX #spam #CAPTCHA

Really insightful look at CAPTCHAs on Smashing Mag. The comments are worth a read too – some really interesting ideas there.

The perils of persuasion and user experience: http://ow.ly/48Ucl #UCD #UX #usability #usertesting

An interesting look into the world of user experience design.

Top 6 Mistakes to Avoid in Mobile Usability ==> http://bit.ly/dFP6ZO via @inphoenity #usability #UX #mobile

Great advice for anyone interested in mobile, and making mobile apps/sites that don’t suck.

Good weekend reading – Marketing for startups in 8 simple steps: http://ow.ly/47yRf #marketing #startup

Good advice for anyone really, from The VC himself…

Best Practices for Mobile App Sites: http://ow.ly/47z4Y #mobile #apps #bestpractice #usability #UX

Building a site for your mobile app? Here are some best practices to consider.

Neat concept » Post-Touchscreen Interface – The Looking Glass: http://ow.ly/48UdK #usability #UX #touchscreen #design #mobile

And a look into the future to finish off with – a concept for the future of the touchscreen.

That’s all for this week, be sure to let us know in the comments if there are any great sites/tweets we’ve missed.

Have a great weekend, happy testing everyone.


The Godaddy User Experience (fail)

Posted by Jacob Creech on February 25th, 2011

Like a lot of people, I use Godaddy as my domain name registrar (for .com domains at least), and most of the time I really don’t have to think about them. The domains are cheap, they do a ton of marketing, and so when I come to think of purchasing domains, they are generally the registrar that comes to mind.

However, every year or two that time rolls around again where I have to renew my domains, and the experience I go through really can be very frustrating. Today was another one of those days, and I’ve decided to suffer in silence no longer. Today let’s look at a brief run through of the Godaddy user experience, and what it’s done wrong.

Of course, before I get into my rant, it would be great if you could take this quick test to help see if it’s just me that’s having this issues, or if it is more widespread. I’ll update this post in a few days with the test results. You can find the test at http://video.intuitionhq.com/godaddy-ux.

Update: Check out our new post with all the results from out testing.

The landing page:

When you first go to the Godaddy page, you’ll find lots of information thrown in your face; let’s just say they don’t specialise in the soft sell. The header was the first thing I noticed, and I was quite confused by the fact it showed that I had 1 domain expiring, but I didn’t seem to be logged in. Looking at the whole page, you can see a whole lot of different information. They have a bunch of different pricing information there, and from my perspective they don’t seem very clear about what they are trying to sell me on. The pricing doesn’t seem terribly consistent either – it tells me new .coms are $11.99* a year and lower – what is the asterisks for? Why and lower? What does this all mean? It then goes on to tell me that I get can domains for just $1.99*, again using their old friend the asterisks. Of course, I still don’t know what they are trying to tell me.

I really this whole page could be arranged in a much better fashion – if they should just decide what exactly they are trying to sell me here, they could make there message a lot clearer. The amount of information here could be overwhelming, especially for anyone non-technical looking to buy a domain or host a site. Supposing this is their target market (and part of the reason they advertise to a mass audience like the super bowl) they could really do a much better job of this. For a start, making pricing information much more apparent, and explaining just what you get for the price (especially considering how many add ons they have) would really help.

The header:

Focusing on the header, and looking at the 1st field, you can see it was asking my for my log in information, but supposing I wasn’t logged in, how did it know I had a domain expiring (as shown in the 2nd field)?

I was also a little confused by the 3rd field. This shows the New Zealand flag (which is where I’m based) next to the text USD, which I assume stands for US dollars. I find these two pieces of information to be a little conflicting. Surely they should have an American flag next to the American currency, and a New Zealand flag next to the New Zealand currency? Since they don’t even have an option to select the New Zealand currency, I’d say it’s a little silly to include our flag there. Other than showing off their geolocation prowess what are they actually achieving here?

The competition

For comparisons sake, see the following screenshots from a several other hosting/domain name registrars:



I must admit, I find it rather disingenuous that they Godaddy, Register.com and Hover.com all offer to provide me with email for another rather large fee, considering the quality of service you can get using Google Apps. Anyone who has laid eyes on Godaddys email service will know it’s not worth the hard drive space it’s stored on. I’d imagine it would be fairly safe to assume the same of the other services too.

Design and usability:

As to the design and usability though, the information they display is generally much more concise.

Squarespace.com has a well laid out message explaining what they do, why you should use it, who it’s for and more. The pricing is clearly laid out in the header (well, starting from $12, but at least you have an idea), and the pricing tab at the top of the site shows exactly what you will pay for using the site.

Register.com has a reasonably uncluttered website, although finding the pricing for an actual domain is rather difficult, and in fact without creating an account I’m not sure that you can find the pricing – a big no-no. The price with hosting is much clearer, although they could still got in to more depth with what they are offering here, and who the service is for.

Hover.com also has a much clearer interface. Evidently they’ve decided that email and domain forwarding are important services for them to sell. I’d imagine including pricing for domain names on the home page wouldn’t be a bad idea either, although once you search for a domain the pricing is readily apparent. I still don’t appreciate the fact they are trying to hoist their email service on to me though.

Dreamhost.com also offers domain registration as well as hosting services. The home page is rather bare, but the tabs at the top provide quick access to all the information you could need, and they are far more up front about their pricing. They don’t try and sell you additional services like email, and make it very easy to set up other services like Google Apps and WordPress. The site makes it relatively easy to find pertinent information for your buying decision.

Google Apps also enables you to register domains, and at $10 a year it’s really very reasonably priced. Signing up with them also ensures that you can easily set up Google Apps for your domain, giving you access to email, calendar, docs and a bunch of other Google services.

All things being equal, and depending on what you are looking for, Dreamhost, Google Apps and Squarespace stand out strongly in this example.

On to the next step:

Expiring Domain:

I clicked the ’1 domain expiring’ link at the top of the page and came through to the next page which looked relatively straight forward:

Ok, this looks straight forward enough. That’s the domain I want to renew, and so I click the continue button at the borrow which leads me on to this:

Yeah, they are trying to sell me a range of other things; there is so much information here, it would be hard to know what I wanted even if I was interested. I didn’t want to purchase any extras, and luckily I find when I get to the bottom of the page I find a ‘no thanks’ button. I’m glad at least the give me an easy option to avoid their upsell – just as well considering the millions of terms and conditions they have down there. After I click ‘no thanks’ I find the following:

OK, now I’m a little confused. What’s all that clicking around I was doing if I didn’t have anything in my cart? Didn’t I choose to renew my domain name for 2 years? A quick look back at the screenshot I took there confirms I’m not crazy, but perhaps I needed to tick the checkbox on that page to select the domain. Of course, it seems rather silly that they let me come this far when I had nothing selected; so they are prepared to sell me the extra services even without extending my domain? Hmm.

So I go back again, and ensure I just have the domain name check box ticked. I don’t want it to auto-renew, and while I’d like private registration, I don’t care enough to pay much for it, so I leave both those empty and continue on, past the upsell, and on to the ‘review you shopping cart’ page:

At first I was congratulating myself on my ability to get through the Godaddy registration process, but upon closer examination I noticed something strange:

Recurring? Really? Again, looking back at my screenshots, I could see I hadn’t checked auto-renew, and I don’t want this to be recurring. Thinking maybe, just maybe I’d done something wrong I start the process over again, but again find that no matter what I do it wants to make this a recurring transaction. I resign myself to my fate, and click confirm anyway and find this:

I’m 95% sure I’ve made my purchase having gone through the payment process, but I’m still a little confused by the fact that after my purchase they are still trying to upsell me to a bunch of different things. Can’t I just pay them to go away? None the less, I ignore all of the extras they are offering up and click the ‘set up new products’ button on that assumption that when they are thanking my for my order that means I’ve actually made my purchase. Makes sense right? Then this:

Please log in to see your domains? Huh, wait? When you were congratulating me just now I wasn’t logged in? Even though you knew my name and let me pay for my domains I wasn’t logged in? If I wasn’t logged in, how did you even know I had domains expiring? After all this, I’m still not sure if I’ve actually renewed my domain or not. Clear as mud. All I can do is try and log in now and see if, despite all this conflicting information I’ve renewed my domain or not:

Hey, what do you know, this is what actually being logged in looks like, and after a quick hunt around it turns out I have actually renewed my domain without being logged in, but with Godaddy having enough information to know my name, domains and accept my payments. I’m still confused.

What does this all mean?

Godaddy is aimed at the consumer, and making such a terrible experience surely can’t be good for their business. While upselling people isn’t exactly a crime, and can even be helpful in some cases, the aggressive manner in which they try and sell me something new at every step really does frustrate me. I’m already trying to give them some money, and they just keep asking for me. Pursuing such aggressive tactics may work in the short term, but you’ve got to imagine in the long term it will turn a lot of customers (or potential customers) off their service.

Information overload:

The same goes for the general information overload – if they want people to understand and use their services, they should have a more defined focus on what they are trying to provide. Even if it means creating sub categories, at least they can filter out some of the noise. They probably have more than enough data to figure out who is buying what, and could easily tailor their offers based on their knowledge based on the information.

Signed in or out:

The signed in/signed out issue is still confusing to me. After going through the whole process, I’m still not sure if I was signed in or signed out while I renewed my domain. Trying to make some consistent behaviour would really help. It’s really confusing, and it feels like there are several layers of being signed in or out. From their perspective I suppose it’s just as well I could still purchase my domain while being semi-signed in, but from my perspective it’s very confusing to know whether in fact my purchase had gone through, and what exactly was working/I could access in my semi-signed in state.

Cart behaviour:

The behaviour when adding things to your cart is also rather confusing. I initially thought I had placed the renewal in my cart, only to find two steps later I had to go back again to try to add the same domain. I repeated the process several times to try and stop the renewal from being recurring, but no matter what I didn’t it just wouldn’t work. It was a very frustrating experience, and I can safely say I wouldn’t recommend Godaddy to anyone (well, unless I didn’t like them).

The whole UX:

There are many aspects of this user experience which could cause users to trip up and abandon their cart. There are many issues which would mean it is hard for the users to get even this close to making a purchase. And there are many ways people could mistakenly add extra items to their carts and purchase things unintentionally. As I say, this might work for Godaddy in the short term, but it is difficult to imagine how they could maintain these sort of practices long term, especially in the face of half way decent competition. That said, Godaddy has been around for a long time, and I suppose they will fight hard to keep their dominance. Hopefully that means good things for their user experience in the future. For now, I think it’s time for me to change registrars – recommendations anyone?

Do you have thoughts or experience with the Godaddy user experience? What do you think they are doing right or wrong? Any other feedback? Be sure to let us know in the comments, and sign up to our RSS feed to keep up to date with future updates. Thanks!


What is website usability and other interesting tweets

Posted by Jacob Creech on February 14th, 2011

The web is full of experts on all sorts of topics (and website usability is no exception), and often it’s hard to discern who really knows what they are talking about, and who just read a book on the topic and fancies themselves an expert. Of course, I don’t want to judge too harshly, because the way I see it we are all learning the whole time, but some times I come across sites that really make me wonder just what people are thinking and how expert they could possibly be.

That said most of the sites I stumble across are really very well done, and I am constantly impressed with both the quality and quantity of information available on the internet, especially considering how much of this information you can get for free, or in exchange for your email address.

Today we have a large selection of great information, but I’m going to start with a site I was sent that while espousing the virtues of website usability manages to do quite the oposite:

What is website usability? Not this: http://imgur.com/BGas3 (image) #website #usability #UX #webdesign #fail

All I can say about this site is really? Really?

Interesting Post: Designing a Reason to Come Back: http://ow.ly/3UeVr #webdesign #UX #UCD

Anyone with kids will get this immediately – basically describes how using different events can help motivate people to return to your site (or game)

Website Usability Lessons from Chuck Norris http://ow.ly/3UaG4 #usability #UX #webdesign

Funny, well written post. Who doesn’t love Chuck Norris?

Should Developers also be UX Professionals and Graphics Designers? http://ow.ly/3S0Fn #UX #webdesign #usability

Thoughts? I’m sure I know a few people who can design and develop, but this post does make an interesting point

Interesting Look at User Personas: The Cheapest Way To Make More Money With Your Site http://ow.ly/3SKFO #Usability #UX

User personas are a useful tool to help examine your site, and make sure it works for who you’d like it to work for – this post might help motivate you towards that end

@TheOatmeal hits the nail on the head again: What I want from a restaurant website. http://bit.ly/gD5WBF #Usability #UX via @phostercreative

And a funny one to finish off with. The Oatmeal is a great comic, and once again this post sums up poor design very succinctly. Check it out

That’s all for this week, if you’ve got any great post, resources or information you’d like to share, let us know and we’ll be sure to add it next time round.

Happy testing everyone.


Website usability testing and the design process

Posted by Jacob Creech on February 10th, 2011

I often get questions from people who are interested in the idea of website usability testing, but unsure of how they can involve testing in their design process. Based on our own experience, I can safely say that whatever stage you are in the process, even if your site has been live for years, it’s never a bad time to start website usability testing.

When you are first thinking of your designs and come up with sketches of your ideas, you can upload them to IntuitionHQ and see how your idea is going to work out. You can put questions as part of your tests, and coming soon we’re even adding the ability to get comments from your users at the end of your tests.

A Simple WireframeFrom Flickr user Rob Enslin

If you’ve got wireframes or prototypes you can test those as well. You can keep tweaking and optimising your designs to ensure it’s as usable as can be.

Even with the finished design you can keep testing to ensure everything is working as you and your users expect. You can keep making small changes, or just getting proof that is working well.

If you’d like to read more on this topic I’ve written a more in depth post at Spyre Studios so head on over and check it out. Any questions let us know in the comments.

The key thing to take away from this all is that it doesn’t matter where you are in the process, you can still get started with testing your sites. Testing will add value for you, and at the very least provide confirmation that your site is working well. If there are any problems or issues, it will help you to realise and rectify these. Whatever the result, it’s still good information for you to know and understand.

Remember, testing with IntuitionHQ costs just $9 a test, so why not get started testing your own sites today? Happy testing everyone.