Published On: Mon, Sep 25th, 2017

UX Design, Usability Testing: Are They Necessary?

“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” – Bill Gates

One of the most important parts of designing an effective website is UX design. The primary purpose of a website is to act as a virtual shop front and convince visitors to the site to answer the call to action. It does not matter whether the call to action is to sign up for a newsletter or to purchase goods or services.

 If your website does not appeal to its target audience, they will not stay on your site long enough to respond to the site’s message and intent. Therefore, it makes sense to do everything in your power to ensure that your site’s user experience is top class.

UX design and usability testing

By looking at the definitions of both UX design and usability testing, the importance of website user testing is highlighted. Fundamentally, these definitions provide us with a reference point for why they are essential elements of the website development lifecycle.

UX design

While Don Norman was the Vice President of the Advanced Technology Group at Apple, he defined UX Design as the“judicious application of certain user-centred design practices… and use of certain methods and techniques that are applied to… produce cohesive, predictable, and desirable effects in a specific person, or persona (archetype comprised of target audience habits and characteristics).”

In other words, it has been determined that certain design best practices ensure that a website is user-friendly and designed in such a way that it will encourage a visitor to convert into a returning customer.

Furthermore, the primary objective of any website is to drive sales and increase a company’s profitability.  Don Norman’s definition also shows that user-centric design is based on personas or user-types.

The complexity of this definition also shows UX design is best left to qualified, experienced design experts working with a UX agency Sydney.

Usability testing

Usability or user testing is the process whereby real users navigate around the website and answer its primary call-to-action. Test use cases are designed with the aim of testing individual processes as well as the end-to-end functionality of the site. Any challenges or problems that occur are noted, and the website is sent back to the design team for re-evaluation.

It is not a bad thing when a site’s user experience comes back as negative. As the quotation mentioned above by Bill Gates notes, negative usability reviews are an opportunity to ensure that, once the site goes live, it is intuitive and easy for visitors to use.

Final words: The necessity of UX design and usability testing

It is a simple matter to conclude that if UX design and the consequent UX design testing are not included as key cogs in the website’s development’s lifecycle, there is very little chance of the site performing its primary function, that being one of the main drivers of sales to the business.

While it is also easy to take shortcuts during the UX design phase, it is also critical to spend the necessary time ensuring that the website’s intuitiveness and usability are not compromised.

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