Happy World Usability Day! We trust that you’ve been eagerly awaiting this day all year and are celebrating by dressing in a clearly identifiable costume of your choice. Ok, we’re joking about the celebrations, but the day is a good excuse to talk a little bit about usability.
World Usability Day or “Make Things Easier Day” started as a way to encourage people to ask for things that work better. We realize that this is a little vague, but the main idea is that when systems, products, or services aren’t easy to use, problems occur. Sure, some of these issues are minor annoyances, but what might be simply irritating to you could stop someone else from participating altogether. This year, the theme is healthcare.
But because we do web design instead of healthcare, we thought that World Usability Day would be the perfect time to talk about the importance of usability testing.
The name makes the process sound a lot more intense than it really needs to be. The idea of this test is to make sure that your website is easy to use, which is a key step in keeping your visitors happy! The test itself can be as simple as asking someone you would consider in your target market to use your website while you’re sitting next to them. Ask them to complete certain tasks they might need to do when coming to your website. Here are some examples:
– Find out where the business is located
– Search for a particular product and tell me how much it will cost, including tax
– Find the return policy
– Look for what past customers have said about the company
– Try to contact the business via email
We’ve made jokes about how our websites must pass the Grandma test, but we could easily replace “Grandma” with “usability”. A well-designed site shows that you respect your customers and care about making their life easier. Valuing their time, energy, and experience is reflected in usability and reflected in sales.
In fact, as a part of World Usability Day, business owners in Bristol, England will be learning about usability in web design in order to help them make more money online. Their research shows that up to £259 million is lost because of poor online user experience and they’re looking to open those wallets through usability. Who couldn’t use an extra £259 million in sales?
So, today, to celebrate World Usability Day, give your website a usability test and make someone’s life easier!
If you would like to learn more about what to look for during a usability test, visit our post “Usability Testing: Grandma Knows Best”.