Measuring The Success of Your Web Usability Strategy

To start the process of improving your site’s usability, you’ll have to set up tracking to record the metrics and results. Once you do, you’ll want to keep track of various data such as entry pages, exit pages, visiting time, clickthrough rates and conversions. Then, you should think about how the data corresponds with your site’s purpose.

Every website will have a different goal. Some websites will want to engage visitors and get to explore the rest of the site. Other sites will want to go straight for the conversion whether it’s through leads or sales. You have to figure out what your goal is and start testing different designs to meet the metrics for your goal. For example, if you want to increase engagement, you should aim to increase time spent on site and try to move visitors towards a specific funnel.

As important as it is to have a usability strategy in place, it’s even more pressing to measure it’s efficiency on a regular basis. A few metrics can aid in the ongoing optimization of your site:

Conversion

People like to be led directly into the solutions for their problems or questions they are seeking. If your site has a high usability rating, it means that you have streamlined it to the point where no one will get lost. Everyone will be able to make a final decision the very first time that they take your sales tour – either they believe that your products can help them or they do not. This kind of clarity will improve your conversion rates and allow you to narrow down the marketing that you do. If the user’s problem is not solved, or if they cannot find what they are looking for – then the test has failed and optimization must be made. When broken down simplistically, this can lead to the telling Task Completion Rate metric which indicates if a specific goal has been met.

Errors

Any mis-step in a users process is a result of the intuitive nature of the digital experience. Errors logged can reveal stuck points as well as areas that need to be reworked with regard to both visual and contextual cues. Depending on the testing platforms used, you may be able set error alerts into categories ranking their severity (as errors can be many, and the review process lengthy), choosing to tackle only the most critical at any given time.

Pathways & Task Time

Not only is it important for a user to accomplish their task – it needs to be done quickly. Creating user pathways to streamline the experience as much as possible is key so the user can seamlessly move around the interface and complete what they came to do. When testing, time the duration of a user from start to finish and pay close attention to how they accomplish the task. Are there multiple ways to get to the goal – is one easier than the other? Optimize pages and cues for ease of use and conversion driving.

Feedback

A common system used to measure user satisfaction with web sites is the System Usability Scale (SUS). The scores range from 0 (very little satisfaction) to 100 (very high satisfaction), and the average tends to hover around 65 or 70. Take surveys and speak directly to consumers to obtain crucial feedback to measure satisfaction straight from the source. Showing your audience that you genuinely value their input in your production will increase their connection to your brand, and will make them feel free to recommend any improvements that you may not have seen from the development perspective.

Vanessa Petersen

As Executive Director of Brand Strategy based in ArtVersion’s Portland office, Vanessa manages both national and West Coast accounts. She brings with her a passion for strategy with extensive experience in creative marketing, brand growth and development. She is a true advocate of storytelling and brand building from the inside out, and her keen knowledge of the marketplace, trend patterns and usability lead her to identify opportunities that can inspire powerful design strategies.

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