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Usability Testing: Are You Asking The Right Questions?

Usability testing is one of the most effective tools to aid in uncovering problem areas or stuck spots in a website’s design and structure. While any measure of testing is helpful, different types of testing and the way in which questions are asked can greatly affect user response, and ultimately, the outcome of solutions that will be put in place. The first thing to determine is whether to take a scripted or un-scripted approach to testing. Scripting is recommended for testing specific use cases and offers many benefits including delivering the most controlled environment. Reporting from scripted testing delivers both quantitative and qualitative data, all dependent on how the script is crafted. Setting the Scene Foremost, its important to indicate what areas of focus will be tested – this could be anything from the name of a website and how it will register with users to how the product/website functions. […]

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1 year, 6 months ago
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Check Your Site’s Web Usability with These 5 Free/Low Cost Testing Tools

You don’t have to be an expert nor a design firm with the latest in usability technology to run some great usability testing. In the last few years, there have been a large amount of free or cheap tools that have been created by the web design community to help everyday website owners like you. These tools will allow you to cover a wide range of web usability standards and help you make quick improvements to your site. Without further ado, here is a list of some handy tools. 1. Juicy Studio’s Readability Test If content is king then you owe it to yourself to make sure that your content is easy to consume. This testing tool allows you to simply take the URL of your page and scan it for readability. It checks against three different algorithms with explanations on how your page was scored and what you can […]

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1 year, 6 months ago
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Has Big Data Become Bad Data?

Understanding user behavior in the digital environment is paramount to refining and optimizing a marketing strategy or new implementation. Through dialed-in analytics, a business can make decisions based on a user’s true wants and needs – delivering a more controlled and authentic experience. Equipped with these intelligent insights, the optimal technology can be implemented to achieve the ideal approach to a digital strategy. Until only recently – the most prevalent data used has been that of Big Data. Characterized by the output of Volume, Velocity, and Variety – Big is exactly what the name implies – a whole lot of information which may not be entirely suited to a growing UX focus. Is big data dead? Due to the sheer size of output, Big Data tends to be cumbersome and therefore requires a lot of work in translating to become actually useful. For the demanding user of today, a business needs more than just […]

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1 year, 7 months ago
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Following Best Practices to Boost Your Site’s Web Usability Factor

Web Usability encompasses a variety of aspects that focus on making your users’ experience the best one possible. By zeroing in on both design and content, a site owner can improve the overall experience for the user. It can be easy to overlook these details, but they all add up to a critical component in delivering initial or heightened conversions and sustained business. Implementing tried and tested web usability best practices help to provide a site immediate advantages for the ideal UX. By following a set of proven tactics, the site can garner a better experience in a shorter amount of time. Its important to note, however, that best practices function at their optimal rate when a content strategy is in place. Focus on Consistency Keep navigation, content and imagery consistent throughout the site. Users should always be able to return easily to your homepage and to other major navigation […]

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1 year, 7 months ago
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Focusing on Findability to Improve SEO

With great importance placed on SEO, site owners are engaging in a constant stream of optimization tactics that may not be targeting the ideal user. As user experience becomes more and more important, a close relative of Search Engine Optimization – Findability – is seemingly the UX strategy that is often overlooked and rarely seen as an area that should be critically addressed and optimized to make SEO work all the better. While SEO serves a main purpose in getting a user to the site, many times the search lands the user deep within the content and worse, in the wrong place. Users then must navigate back to find the origination point of the content they are looking for to complete their task, taking them longer than desired. When a findability strategy is implemented, content is developed from a top-down approach, allowing a user to locate the needed information at […]

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1 year, 8 months ago
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Getting Personal: Conducting User Research for Better Usability

Understanding your audience is the most important step in beginning the usability strategy for your brand. Focusing on your audience’s behaviors, needs and motivations can pave the way for the best possible designs that will appeal to the user experience. Common methods used in evaluating your users involve observation techniques, task analysis and other feedback strategies. Beginning The Process To truly understand the impact of interface design, content and layout on the intended users. As with any type of user research, the subjects must be studied for the purpose of a greater level of understanding – once that level is achieved, the necessary or wanted improvements can be made in order to build that ideal web and brand environment. Steps to Take To ensure that the needed research is thorough, analysts can consider speaking directly to their interviewees, engaging in contextual interviews that will enable observation of the users in […]

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1 year, 8 months ago
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What’s In A Name? How a URL Can Affect A Site’s Usability

Often overlooked due to the fact that they aren’t the biggest ranking factor used by search engines, the structure of URLs can have a major impact on the SEO and usability factors of a website. The keywords contained within a URL are much more than just a location tool. Relevant to both the user and search engines, URLs help to assess and describe what each page on a site is about and what kind of product or services it provides. The better the URL optimization, the higher it will rank in organic search engine results. While a great deal of thought may be put into the main URL of a website, the inner pages are very important to give thought to in terms of usability. Many times, for these pages – a URL is automatically generated that can easily be optimized to better serve the site and its visitors. Being […]

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1 year, 9 months ago
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The Pros and Cons of Adaptive Web Design

While responsive design has been dominant in the design and development industry, adaptive design has still remained relevant. What makes adaptive web design different from responsive is that it uses different versions of a website to deliver a customized experience for the user. The version that is shown will obviously depend on multiple factors like the screen size of the device, type of device, browser being used, etc. The big question that many website owners want answered is if whether adaptive design is the right choice for their mobile campaigns. To help answer that question, here are some pros and cons of this design format. Pros of Adaptive A better user experience due to the fact that predesigned versions of a website will be served to the user. The website isn’t “responding” to the type of device or other factors. The website will perform better. Load time is one of […]

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1 year, 9 months ago
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The Business Case for Optimized Site Usability

Web usability is a significant aspect of a websites function that every company must pay attention to for the current and long term health of their organization. Usability, while seemingly invisible, encompasses everything from SEO, conversion ratios, user experience and authority in the market. Embarking on a usability path and building a strategy can be a challenging task, however it is one that will pay off in spades if implemented well and maintained through testing and optimization. The benefits of adopting a website usability optimization strategy affect all those who come in contact with the company – from prospective and current customers to internal stakeholders. Following best practices from design to development to offer the ideal user experience can deliver an increased level of positive association and better bottom line to the brand it supports. External Benefits of Usability Delivers Faster Conversion Its estimated that sites that have poor usability […]

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1 year, 9 months ago
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Scrolling for Better Website Usability and Content Organization

As much as a simplicity approach to both content and graphics for a website is encouraged, when working with a larger amount of assets, scrolling lends a much better approach to usability than breaking up content into separate pages. With sites developing more in depth content and the prevalence of parallax and animated sites as well as constant information stream applications, the approach of scrolling is evolving to site and content specifications. The mantra of ‘above/below the fold’ rules were ubiquitous with designers working to get as much information as possible into the immediately seen space that ultimately would overwhelm the user. Along with technology, the user has evolved, and scrolling is now an integral aspect of many programs and applications – allowing an easier flow of communication to the user, providing a more engaging and usable experience. With the popularity and prevalence of mobility, so much has changed – […]

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1 year, 10 months ago