It’s easy to make assumptions about what site users prefer leaving a big gap between perception and how much you really understand your website users. That’s where research comes in.
For example – can you answer these questions?
What do you want your users to achieve when using the site? What do your users want to achieve when using your site?
Where do people most frequently ENTER your site? Where do they EXIT your site?
What they are doing while they are on your site; which pages are they leaving quickly, and which pages are they spending the most time on?
You may not know the answers to these questions – you may think you don’t even care. And you are not alone. User testing and user research are easily overlooked or undervalued when you have a site build or redesign to manage, or a busy workload, or… whatever.
But here’s another important question – what’s the point of having a site in the first place if people can’t achieve what they need to when they visit it?
That’s why, every once in a while, some user research is probably a good idea.
Data doesn’t lie
User research can be done in many ways, from interviews with site users, to online surveys, to Google Analytics reporting. Heat mapping is another great way to find out how long people are spending on your site, where their attention is focused, and – just as important – where it is NOT focused.
Here are some examples of questions user research might seek to resolve:
Is the content easily found, engaging the user, and providing them with the information they need (and is any information missing)?
Does your page work on different screen sizes, for different devices?
Are people getting stuck at any point of the navigation, and not achieving their desired outcome due to broken links, confusion, or irrelevant, distracting elements?
If you have an online store, a quick post-purchase survey asking: ‘What almost stopped you from making this purchase?’ can help you discover what might be stopping other purchasers.
The 3-second rule
And it’s good to remember the 3-second rule: If the page loads too slowly, or visitors to your site can’t figure out how to get what they want or need out of the site within 3 seconds, chances are they will abandon the site altogether. (Read our article about this here).
So – user research can help you ensure your site’s design is easy to use, relevant, and achieving what it needs to – whether that’s increased sales, generating leads, a increased amount of traffic to the site, or more time spent on the site. Why wouldn’t you care about that?
If you’re interested in doing some user research, or you’ve identified that your site is not performing as well as it should be, Red Cloud can help with Google Analytics, surveys, user interviews, heat mapping, improvements to site taxonomy, and knowledge management. Just give us a call.