So you have a website, and you’re getting traffic – but the sales aren’t rolling in. Or maybe they are, but they’re not setting the world on fire.
All too often websites are built with little or no consideration given to their usability. And this is often the critical difference between good and great websites.
For those of you unfamiliar with the term:
“Usability is the extent to which a website can be used by specified users to achieve specified goals with effectiveness, efficiency, and satisfaction in a specified context of use. In other words, good usability implies that users can easily use a website and by doing so, reach their goals quickly and without getting lost or confused.”
For an existing website, the first steps to improving usability are of course assessing the current levels of effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction of users.
To help you with this process, here are essential website usability tools to start the process.
Clicktale allows you to visualize your visitors activity and get an overview of complete browsing sessions. It also watches behaviour analytics, which include click heatmaps, mouse move heat maps, and web analytics. These can help improve usability and conversion rates.
CrazyEgg enhances your sites usability by keeping a track of pages i.e. it can watch over your website and have an overview of heat maps to track the clicks. It can also track the advanced activities such as top fifteen referrals, browser and search terms.
Feng GUI simulates human vision during the first 5 seconds of exposure to visuals, and creates heatmaps based on an algorithm that predicts what a real human would be most likely to look at. Feng-GUI Dashboard offers designers and advertisers, a pre-testing service that measures the performance of your design, before it airs, by analyzing levels of attention, brand effectiveness and placement, as well as breaking down the flow of attention.
Fivesecondtest helps you fine tune your landing pages and calls to action by analyzing the most prominent elements of your design. By finding out what a person recalls about your design in just 5 seconds you can ensure that your message is being communicated as effectively as possible.
Google Website Optimizer allows you to set up different versions of your web content and then it random displays the versions to different visitors. This form of multivariate testing help you establish which versions are most user friendly and lead to higher conversions.
Loop 11 is a solution for consultants, designers and web managers to get the metrics and optimize a website’s potential. It has an easy process to create a professional usability test, accumulate responses and source them via a social media and finally analyze the data through the usability metrics.
Usabilla integrates usability tests in your daily work-flow and helps you continuously improve your web site’s user-experience and conversions with high quality design feedback.
User Testing is a way of getting data on your visitors’ browsing patterns — data that isn’t biased or subjective; data which shows the real activity from people using your website.
UserTesting provides on demand user testing. Post your website usability test requirements on their website and get direct feedback from real users via participant videos of activities completed. With a large database of users, you can target exactly who completes your tests.
Of course there’s plenty of other tools out there which can help you improve your website’s usability. The key is to get started with the process. Whether you invest in one of the tools above or just start looking at some of the basics through Google analytics – once you’ve started testing, you can start improving.