Not all Internet users are alike – just watch your parents try to use your iPad. Or explain to your Grandmother why it’s a “mouse” and not a “chicken.” Or sit with your 3-year old niece as she shows you how to voice message with the iPhone 6 (woah!).
It is clear that varying audiences use technology differently to fill a unique set of needs. When it comes to your website, it’s up to you to figure out if it is fulfilling those needs – or, at the very least, not frustrating your users. A great way to do that is through usability testing.
Working User Testing into Your Marketing Mix
With so many things happening within your digital marketing stack, sometimes it’s tough to remember to set aside the budget for user testing… but believe me, it’s worth it. Asking your target audience for feedback on your website is a powerful tool that can provide you with a great deal of insight.
What We Learned
Case in point: to gain an understanding of the unique needs of one of our client’s target audience (45 – 75 year olds), we ran a series of user experience tests with the super-easy tool usertesting.com. We loaded up different scenarios into the tool and watched as users fitting our target demographic gave us feedback on those scenarios in quick, easy-to-annotate videos.
We knew that this particular audience interacts with digital channels differently than many of us, and it was striking to watch it unfold. We watched them interact with the website and listened to their reactions as they talked through our tasks – almost like watching live TV. So valuable! And you know what? Turns out that something we thought was pretty intuitive, wasn’t.
In response to just this one user test, we created a customized questionnaire (built within Sitecore’s framework, in Responsive Design) to help our audience overcome a hurdle that we didn’t even realize existed. The results? Increased lead volume (and quality) overall, with a significant bump in organic conversion rate (score!).
Moral of the story? Test, test, test – you never know what you’ll find out. Start with a solid game plan, and get learning!