WebWise Rule 1:
An ounce of pre-launch research is worth a pound of post-launch regret.
We can study the user experience on your website, prototypes of a new site design, your mobile apps, and even the websites of your top competitors. We use proven research methodologies such as:
- Remote moderated user testing
- A/B and multi-variate testing
- Split-URL testing
- Analysis of recorded visitor journeys
Once we have gathered the data, we analyze it and produce reports that include recommendations for improvements prioritized by their impact on overall customer satisfaction.
We approach each test with the expectation that we will be surprised by what we find. After watching hundreds of hours of user tests, we know that user behavior on any given site is going to differ from ours in some interesting ways. Why? Well, we are almost never the target personas our clients are focused on. So what we think about the design and messaging doesn’t really count for much when evaluating the site’s usability.
We have learned to humble ourselves at the feet of the actual users of their products, and watch to see how they engage with the site to accomplish tasks. Then we’ll know if it’s actually usable for the only people who matter to the client.
Design teams we work with have to learn this too. They are often cruelly disappointed (and a little peeved) when users don’t respond to their designs the way they “should.” We tell them, when they design websites that market to designers, they can use things that they personally love. But not when they’re designing for the security software buyer, or the Linux engineer.
When it comes to website usability, it’s absolutely true: the customer IS always right, and they are full of surprises.
Our UX analysts are certified in the Nielsen | Norman methodology, and that framework anchors us to proven best practices and current research. We also rely on User Interface Engineering, and Marketing Experiments, as our primary research sources. We require our analysts to stay current with new research and have a program of continuous learning to keep everyone’s knowledge fresh and relevant.
Our research has been instrumental in the redesign of several major corporate websites, and the optimization of hundreds of lead-gen pages and journeys. We have helped clients do things like:
- Identify and fix several small design problems that were causing people to leave before completing a form submission, eventually tripling the number of form submits
- Re-position the primary call to action to the place where people instinctively expected to find it — resulting in 155% increase in clicks
- Re-configure the site navigation into groupings that made more sense to site visitors, increasing findability metrics, and resulting in a steady increase in pages viewed per session
- Audited our client’s top 25 competitors, ensuring their site redesign would match or exceed the expectations of their target market
We have also been able to help teams discover the surprising contribution some older pages played in current customer-acquisition and customer-retention journeys. This kept them from being discarded during redesign projects and preserved a body of content that had earned spectacular Google pagerank.