Utility is a basic element that should be taken into account when designing websites - after all, the website is intended mainly for its visitors, so the convenience of its use should be the most important issue. How to check if this is really the case? The answer to this question are usability studies of websites.
Usability studies of websites - basic information
The website, which was created with the principles of web usability (the term is referred to as the usefulness of websites in IT) is distinguished above all by the fact that it is clear and intuitive for the user, distinguished by its clear structure and navigation, which leads to the fact that it is positively evaluated by the users and generates traffic.
In order for a website to meet the above mentioned requirements, at each stage of its implementation, so-called website usability tests should be carried out. This is how to obtain all the necessary information concerning the functioning of a given website, taking into account the point of view of its users. Research on usability can therefore be described as an analysis of a given website and the expectations of the people who use it. The conclusions of such an analysis are to be used to continuously improve the website so that it is the best possible.
Methods of testing the usability of websites
In terms of website usability testing methods, there are two main types - expert analysis, which, as the name suggests, is carried out by specialists and user tests. Both of these methods allow us to obtain information enabling us to identify errors that negatively affect the use of a given website, and then remove them.
Expert analysis is a method of research in which at least two people take part - specialists in the field of web design in accordance with the principles of web usability. During the analysis, they assess whether the website has been designed taking into account factors such as the correctness of the website construction, its functionality, clear design and information architecture. The layout and navigation of the website are also taken into account. The advantage of this method may be the relatively short time needed to carry out the test, the disadvantage - high price.
In the case of the second method of usability testing, we have several possibilities of carrying out the analysis. One of the options is to observe the behaviour of users, who, under the "care" of a moderator, are to perform specific activities within the website. On the basis of the test, it is possible to verify, among other things, whether the navigation on the website is understandable. Another type of tests are mouseflow tests, in which user activities are analysed with the use of a special tool - the tool records cursor movements, all clicks or scrolling and on this basis maps are created, reflecting the mentioned activities. Such analysis allows you to determine on which elements of the site users focus the most and where they reach most often. This information is extremely useful when working on improving the usability of the website.