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Author Topic: 3 Proven Techniques for Improving Your Website’s Usability  (Read 750 times)

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The number one factor that makes or breaks your website or not people can use. Normally, this is known as the usability of your website. It seems simple: if people can not do what you want to do (buy stuff, subscribe to things, request a call, etc.) will not. However, because websites are so easy to change, many companies simply creating websites, web applications, electronic newsletters, etc, and we hope the changes will help your business.

What is more confusing than is usually the lack of clear information on the performance of your website. For example, how well your website convert visitors into buyers? What are the key decisions that visitors must make in your website? Do you give them the information and tools necessary to make these decisions?

This article will help to focus on three proven techniques to improve the performance of your website: website analytics, usability testing, and characters. Exactly how you decide to implement these techniques is obviously up to you. However, one thing is certain: the three techniques help you to approach people who visit your website needs, desires, and behaviors. This information is critical if you plan to optimize the usability of your website to achieve your goals.

1. Measuring progress with the analysis of web sites

Many companies mistakenly install a standard "website statistics" of the program and receives only a group of standard reports. In general, these reports do little to help judge the true effectiveness of your website.

Want to get a boost in creating your own website analysis? Just follow these three easy steps:

1. Begin with the end in mind - start with your goals. Define the objectives of your website marketing strategy (ie, "Increasing the number of potential customers from search engines on the Web"), and what you want your web site visitors to be done to achieve these objectives (ie, "See our listing in the top 10 in Google and click on it)
2. Contact the behavior of your visitors on your website. Tracking number of unique visitors you get, and how long they stay in place (including the number of pages to see). You want all these numbers to go up, because that means you are getting more visitors staying on the site longer. You maximize the chances that will do what you want done.
3. Develop your conversion rate. Tracking how many visitors are the key action you want them to do and compare this number to your total number of visitors. This helps determine your conversion rate. For example, if 15 out of 100 visitors requested more information about you (which is one of their goals), then your conversion rate for requests for information is 15%.

Once these key web site analytics in place, you can begin to develop monitoring and look for trends to optimize. Here are two examples:

• Say that you experience higher conversion rates on weekends. Then you might want to spend more on online advertising on weekends and reduce costs throughout the week.
• Say you need more visitors and embark on a search engine optimization project to improve its ranking. You can then track the increase or decrease in the flow of visitors to the project activities.

Whatever you want to achieve, to reach the web usability first start with solid web analytics. Why? Because web analytics force you to identify those areas that matter most, and identify how well they are doing in them. Once you know this, you're armed with the key data that can help focus your efforts and determine where things like usability testing can help the most.

2. Take advantage of usability testing

Usability testing is where you take people who use its website, and really see him. Normally, the person is asked to do things on the site, and you look over your shoulder right behind one-way mirror, or by a second computer where you can see what is being recorded on the computer test.

It's amazing how many things you can do better on your website just by watching people use it. However, as you enter it, it is possible that hiring a professional usability of a test project can be unnecessarily expensive. Usability professionals are useful, since they often have experience in planning and conducting tests and interpreting test results. However, usability testing need not be fancy or formal: people are going to give his opinion if you're sitting in a research or Starbucks. So be careful when hiring a professional looking to make the process complicated or expensive test. When someone does this, it is usually only for their own profit.

Successful implementation of a usability test, just follow these 5 steps:

1. Define your objectives. Begin with the end in mind. What do you want to accomplish with this usability test? Do you have specific areas of your website that you want to improve? If so, this is a great way to get ideas on how to make better areas. Are you planning to deploy a new area of ??your website? A usability test is a great way to make a "trial" before the big launch.
2. Recruit participants. This will take longer, and may be the most frustrating part of the testing process. You have to find people to participate (which can be difficult, especially if you need to match specific demographic profiles), and then you need to program. Then some are canceled, some are not, and some will be a great test participants. The best way to get an idea of ??the person is talking directly with them more than once by telephone. TIP: Be sure to call the person the day of the event to remind them about it.
3. The script for the test. You want to have a script introduction, the test script, and post-test survey. The script serves as input a list of things you want to be sure to meet with the person before starting the test. TIP: In part, try to focus on making the person feel comfortable giving your opinion, and reiterate that any comment is very good. The next part, the test script is a list of real things that you want the person to do. This is followed by the post-test survey, which lets you ask questions person, and then compare the answers to what he said during the test.
4. The test. This is the fun part! You sit with the person and walk through the test scenario. Some tests will benefit from close "hand", while others benefit from letting the person do what I think is right. It depends entirely on the objectives, and that the information you want. In any case, the best thing to do is register the person and what they do on the computer. TIP: Be sure to compensate the person for their time.
5. Report of the results. The best way to report the results is twofold: first, a quick, one page or less summary of each session immediately after the test. Thus, the information is still fresh in your mind. TIP: Include a picture of the user in his summary, and comments that will help make that person "alive." Here, take the information gathered during the test, and create 1 to 4 "people" - explaining user profiles the type of person, what they need from the website, what topics are often on site, and what can be changed to help them. This will help explain the results to others, and can re-use these characters later, when you add or update areas of your website.

How many people should be tested?
For more usability testing, you can learn the best test for only ten people. Many more, and you begin to see patterns that repeat themselves too much. If you're ten, you may miss things or do not see enough of a pattern.

3. Developing People

Let's face it - nobody reads a report of 20 pages of usability throughout. That just does not happen. In general, key decision makers ask "recapitulate" presentations, and then "get" one or two key points of the study, citing that point again and again.

This represents a great opportunity, why not give the key decision makers something memorable? Enter characters.

The characters are a way to involve all thinking of real people who visit your website.
What characters are:

Fake people based on real data

A handy tool to keep the focus on your target customers

One way to make data come alive and be more memorable

People are not:

Each customer profile as possible

"Composite", but are created from real data, as a result of usability testing

A replacement of the existing formS we design and build our website

User testing reports as characters is a great way to:

1. Get key decision makers on board with the concept of person
2. Communicate website problems in the context of people who use your site

Character creation data from usability testing is time consuming, but very valuable. Just look through the data of the key trends: what common functions, objectives and actions is what you see? Entries can be grouped along these things? They soon begin to develop a handful of characters that can be refined over time. Add a name and a few pictures of that "person" and you're on your way to create an online experience more user-centered.

Again, exactly how you decide to implement these techniques is obviously up to you. Even small steps can make a big impact. You do not have to be super-sophisticated web analytics, testing your site with 100 users, or develop highly detailed characters. Every step you take in these three areas, no matter how big or small, will help you get over your website and your internet marketing strategy.


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