If you have an e-commerce or are responsible for this type of platform in a company, you should always pay attention to the experiences that users have on the shopping site. After all, if this care is not taken and the information is not well organized, people will not be able to buy what they want, generating losses for the company. This is why usability testing is so important.
UX design, which stands for User Experience, assumes that the layout of a site needs to be based on the user's experience. This is why it is advisable to conduct tests before launching a new e-commerce site, and also during the life of the site, to understand the reactions people have when accessing it, checking for difficulties and correcting possible errors.
But how to do a usability test, in practice? What is needed for this? To answer these questions, we have listed 5 great methodologies that you can put into practice in your e-commerce. Follow along, in the topics below!
1) Experimental Test
The experimental test is the most complete and rigorous, as far as usability is concerned. In this methodology, it is necessary to form a group that has between 25 and 30 volunteer people, with different ages, social classes, types of internet habits, among other variables that you may find interesting.
Since the test works like a scientific experiment, it must be based on hypotheses and have reports written by the participants. These documents must be converted into metrics and statistics.
You should ask the group of people to access the e-commerce site, analyze the products, and try to finalize a purchase. All difficulties must be reported in writing and later evaluated. Another interesting idea is to install a program on the computers that records the screen movements, so that you can observe the step by step that each member of the group followed to choose a product and finalize a purchase.
2. Simplified Test
This method, as the name suggests, is a more simplified version of the experimental test, and is indicated when the e-commerce managers have already identified a possible problem on the site, such as the difficulty for some people to find the button that puts the products in the cart, for example.
Thus, a group containing between 3 and 8 people can be selected, who should be guided by the researcher to perform a specific task on the site and then record their experiences in writing.
3. A/B Test
The A/B test is one of the best known in marketing and can be very useful for evaluating the usability of an e-commerce site. The model stands out for its simplicity, immediate results, and low cost.
The idea of the test is to provide two site models, with minor changes in layout. The buy button, for example, can have different colors or be positioned in different places on each one.
Thus, intuitive tests can be made to find out which layout had more conversions into purchases. If more people click on a red button than on a blue one, for example, it may be that red is more persuasive to your business and thus be chosen as the default.
It is worth pointing out that the buy button is just one example, and that any other item on an e-commerce site can be tested by A/B methodology.
4. SUS test
SUS stands for System Usability Scale. This is a questionnaire consisting of 10 questions that must be answered by the group of volunteers taking part in the research.
The questionnaire should have the following items to be evaluated by the participant.
- I think I would like to use this system frequently.
- I find the system unnecessarily complex.
- I found the system easy to use.
- I think that I would need the help of a person with technical knowledge to use the system.
- I think that the various functions of the system are very well integrated.
- I think that the system is very inconsistent.
- I imagine that people will learn how to use this system quickly.
- I found the system cumbersome to use.
- I felt confident using the system.
- I had to learn several new things before I could use the system.
The response system should be from 1 to 5, with 1 being "strongly agree" and 5 being "strongly disagree". Then the following procedure should be done:
- decrease 1 point from the answers of the odd items in the questionnaire;
- calculate the amount of points of the even items decreased by the value of 5 (if the answer is 3, for example, the calculation 5-3 = 2 should be done);
- add all the results of the 10 points and multiply the results by 2.5.
The calculated result will be the usability scale of your online store.
5. In-Depth Interview
This method is much more immersive and has a more ethnographic role, that is, it requires more immersion of the participant in the area where the interviewee lives. The idea is to conduct a very detailed interview with a user, asking strategic questions after he or she has accessed the e-commerce site.
It is advisable that the interview is conducted at the place where the user would access the site if he were to make purchases, so that the researcher can have a greater knowledge of the entire process. Locations can be the customer's home, workplace, etc. It is also important to evaluate accesses made on different mobile devices, such as laptops, smartphones, tablets, and others.
Doing usability tests is very useful for e-commerce managers, because it is possible to see how customers perceive the site and correct possible flaws that may prevent purchases from being made.
Increasing e-commerce sales is challenging, but it must be a continuous effort. To understand more about the subject and ensure the success of your business, we recommend reading our article "Checklist: how to increase the conversion of your online store". We are sure it will be very useful for you.