Usability Test

Usability Tests are test procedures with which the usability of a website can be tested. Using empirical methods, a usability test conveys possibilities for optimizing the user experience. The result of such a test can lead to changes in the web design or wording, which should lead to an increase in conversions. This is particularly the case for e-commerce. Usability Tests can also be an aspect of agile software development.


How can I improve my website or software, or develop the front end so that both the User and I have the best outcome? Many methods can be used to answer this question. Analytical processes attempt to solve this problem theoretically, in that the User is categorized as a certain “User-type”. Empirical processes on the other hand work on the basis of established fact.

With usability tests, methods are developed which provide for a clear factual situation. The implementation of the tests has the advantage that (particularly with the analysis of websites) they can be implemented online. This benefits the client in terms of cost, especially in comparison to more traditional methods, because the tests can largely be carried out on their own websites.

Types and methods[edit]

Usability Tests can be used for many different areas and methods. Possible aims of the tests are:

  • Testing the everyday usability of software in the development stage (for example by means of paper prototyping)
  • Analysis of definite scenarios within the framework of a purchase (for example in an online shop or to improve conversion rates)
  • Analysis of a website in order to explain phenomena like a high bounce rate or a low retention time.

The following methods are used:

  • Onsite surveys
  • A/B Testings
  • Eye Tracking
  • Thinking aloud tests
  • Color Blind Test
  • Heuristic Evaluation
  • System Usability Scale

Depending on the type of test, the participants can be actively asked to take part, and extra guidelines can be given to them to analyze a scenario more exactly. It is, however, also possible to implement usability tests without explicitly informing the user about it, for example through A and B versions of a website. In this case, alone the database is deciding. The tests can also be implemented under laboratory conditions for obtaining the most neutral results. These tests would usually be carried out in a usability laboratory.

For Online usability Tests, Website Analysis tools such as Google Analytics or other Digital Analytics programs can be used. An alternative method of testing the user friendliness of a product is the cognitive walkthrough.

Significance for SEO[edit]

With the help of Usability Tests, SEOs can convey empirically how visitors to their website behave (whether their entire website or just one page), or what their user experience is. In this way, problems with lowered Click Through Rate or Bounces in the ordering process can be discovered and resolved. The advantage of usability tests exists in the fact that they generally use empirical methods, and the results are therefore documented clearly and comprehensibly. Whilst the Webmaster’s changes to the page layout will be carried out with instinct, Usability Tests create clear results which can be used for shop optimization or SEO. Usability Tests are an important aspect of sustainable search engine optimization or conversion optimization, because Google measures the amount of time a user stays in a page after clicking on the result in the SERP, and allows this process to flow into the ranking of a keyword.