Validating the design
A. Why is it important
Design is never over until tested with real users to make sure it meets their mental model and does not raise usability issues. Here, at Linakis Digital, we are huge supporters of validating our designs before we develop and launch projects through face to face interviews with real users. This is what we achieve:
/. We get the chance to fine-tune designs early on, when it is still cost-effective to make changes.
/. We minimize risk to your business, because we safeguard that our site or app does not sacrifice user engagement, conversion and online sales for the sake of a good piece of design.
B. Design validation methods
Depending on the nature of the project, we use a variety of tested processes to validate our designs.
B1. User testing
This is one of our favourites. A UX expert sits down with real users and asks them to perform certain tasks while using the website or app. During the session the UX expert:
/. Encourages users to think out loud while browsing and documents what puzzles or confuses them.
/. Records the user’s on-screen interactions and reactions.
User testing is really valuable, because it helps gain insight into users' minds and trace all sorts of usability issues concerning information architecture, layout design, quality of content and micro-interactions. If you only have budget for one validation process, choose this one!
Tree testing is a ux process during which we focus on the website’s findability and ease of navigation. Through dedicated software, a set of scenarios are presented to test participants. Testers are invited to find a particular piece of information within the website structure. Because the process uses a tree-map rather than actual page layouts, it may be tried out early on in the design process, ahead of information architecture design and wireframes.
Users are presented with a number of scenarios to execute specific tasks or retrieve specific information. The essential difference compared to tree testing is that we do not ask users to complete the task at hand, but simply to indicate where they they would make their first click in order to complete these scenarios. Users may also be presented with multiple design alternatives and pick the ones they prefer. The method is executed remotely through specialized software.
B4. A/B testing
Before launching new functionalities such as a new checkout process, a new landing page or a homepage, we create a controlled test during which a percentage of your website’s visitors will be asked to evaluate the new design, while the rest the existing one. At the end of the test, the new version should perform better than the old one in order to greenlight launch! This method is essential when you deploy business-critical changes, or as an ongoing practice for continuously improving your website’s conversion.
Did you know?
Companies which systematically optimize their websites via testing, experience an average increase of 39% in their conversion rates
Source: You Should Test That! Conversion Optimization for More Leads, Sales and Profit book.