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What technology is available for web usability testing?

Technology for Web Usability and Conversion Testing

Many technologies exist permitting you to test the usability and conversion rates of different elements on your website. Some examples include:

Omniture testing technology – This pioneer in the field of multivariate testing permits users to test larger numbers of potential combinations faster.

Optimost – This company's technology tests landing pages, web forms, product pages, and email campaigns.

Magnify 360 – Looking to gauge the actual return-on-investment of a campaign? This web-based behavioral targeting platform can do it for you, by building and maintaining profiles of website visitors.

Site Tuners – The company's TuningEngine technology works best for large tests on high-traffic websites.

Google Website Optimizer – This multivariate and split A/B testing program – like many of Google's services – is free, user-friendly and helpful for business owners.

Don't be overwhelmed by the choices available to test your website's effectiveness and usability. Speak with a full-service Web content development and testing service to choose the software – or software combinations – that best fit your business' needs.

How do template variation tests work?

How Do Template Variation Tests Work?

Google's Website Optimizer provides an easy method for Web usability testing. The program permits you to experiment with different template variations until you find the one that produces the most conversions.

Getting started with a website optimizer

The website optimizer will ask you for specific information, such as:

  • Your test page template
  • Your conversion page
  • The content and variations you want to test
  • How many visitors you want to include in your experiment
Behind the scenes with a website optimizer

When a visitor clicks through to your site, a JavaScript function sets a cookie and begins to track the user's movements. When the user makes a request from the browser, the website optimizer software will test for that cookie. When a test cycle ends for a particular template, a winner is selected. Testing can proceed to the next variable.

Who needs template variation testing?

Anyone who wants to improve conversions can use template variation testing, but E-commerce site designers who want to choose between different images or copy will benefit the most.

What do Web usability tests look for?

What Do Web Usability Tests Look For?

Multivariate testing and split testing are forms of web usability testing that employ software to measure and track the effects of different variables on conversion rates and website optimization.

First and foremost, web usability tests want to see you've followed the KISS principle -- Keep It Simple, Stupid (or the more polite Keep It Simple and Straightforward). Visitors should be able to scan your landing page quickly and find information that will turn them into customers. Use bullet points, bold-type, graphic design elements and the famous F-shaped layout for maximum usability.

Usability testing also explores a number of other questions to ensure your visitors will have an enjoyable experience on your site:

  • How intuitive is your site to navigate? Do visitors go where you want them to?
  • Is the most important information in the most visible spots?
  • Are choices clear and obvious? It shouldn't be ambiguous, if a visitor clicks on a link, where it will take them.

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Guru Spotlight
Byron White