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What is usability testing?

Usability testing asks users to perform set tasks on a website in order to measure the site's ease of use, the time it takes to complete those tasks, and the user's perception of the experience. Usability testing can be performed by users with different levels of expertise.

Every website owner should perform usability testing on a regular basis. It's the only way to know for sure how your site appears to someone seeing it for the first time. Because you already know how to use your site and perform different tasks, it's impossible to see the problems and obstacles that are clear to a first-time user.

Usability testing will tell you:

  • What your visitors think the first time they see your site.
  • Whether your visitors "get" what your site is about.
  • What visitors think about your site's look and feel.
  • Whether your visitors can read the content easily and understand what they see.
  • Whether your visitors can perform your set "tasks" easily, and if not, why not.
  • Where visitors get "stuck"... and click away.
  • What visitors think about the product, pricing and offer.