As product owner, marketer, UX or visual designer, web analyst, or CRO specialist, you see changes in trends in your website’s or app’s analytics data. You can see, for instance, that more people disengage during a specific moment in the funnel, that there’s a decrease in the number of purchases of a certain product or service, or a decrease in the click-through rate of generic to specific pages, etcetera. Even without noticeable changes happening in the data, it can be interesting to take a critical look at a website through the eyes of the users. During a usability day, we use eye tracking, facial coding, and EEG neuro research to study the behavior of a (potential) user on (parts of) your website, in order to identify underlying issues. These are some of the problems or challenges users may run into:
1. Your users get stuck trying to reach their goals
During the process of applying for a credit card, the website asks for a customer’s information. As he fills out the form, he finds out he’s made a mistake filling out one of the previous fields of the form. In a usability study, you’ll find out that some consumers may face the problem of not being able to change information they filled out earlier, because it’s not communicated, or the web design doesn’t present the option in a way that makes sense. The user gets stuck, and disengages.
2. Your visitors get frustrated
When signing up for a phone subscription, at some point in the funnel, the consumer makes a mistake filling out a field in the form – such as the starting date. In a usability study, you’ll find out that the error message consumers get when they make a mistake isn’t visually noticeable enough and is therefore not seen by the user. The user gets frustrated because they can’t continue their process of signing up for a subscription.
3. Users get off-track
While searching for information about your energy consumption, the structure of the menu might be set up in such a way that the subsection you need is ‘hidden’. In a usability study, you’ll find out the structure of the menu doesn’t facilitate an easy, quick search for relevant information, which leads users to the wrong pages.
4. Users interpret your website’s content the wrong way
In claiming a promotion, the customer receives information about how and when to do so. In a usability study, you may find out the information offered is interpreted the wrong way, and that as a result, the customer may not end up on the page where they can claim the promotion.
5. The user is missing information they need to reach their goal
While attempting to sign up for a mortgage, the (potential) customer is missing information on how to make an appointment with a mortgage broker. In a usability study, you may find out which information is missing from the website, what information the customer needs, and where they’d like to see said information.
The first step in optimizing a website or app is to identify one or more of the above problems. Once identified, these problems are then the starting point for finding solutions to improve the website’s design based on the needs and wishes of the user. Sometimes, the solutions may be obvious and hidden in the problem itself; sometimes, the solutions may in fact come directly from the users in the usability study; or your team brainstorms with WUA’s usability researchers about possible solutions.