How to Evaluate User Experience by Yourself

Jan 25, 2021
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How to conduct UX evaluation if you aren’t really a UI/UX expert but still want to check the usability and see what you need to polish up before launching the project? Let’s figure this out together.  Suppose, you own an online store or a landing page promoting a commercial event. The website has an authentic design and is rich with animations, colorful buttons, and CTAs. And yet still it may lack traffic and conversion rates dramatically due to the overall interface or some of its parts being not quite intuitive. Perhaps, users simply don’t understand naturally how they get this or that target action done when they come to your site.  How to make sure your resource has an inviting, intuitive enough interface that makes your store or landing accessible to browse through and use various features? Make a checklist-based evaluation yourself.

When You Should Evaluate UX Single-Handedly

It’s best to consider studying the usability of the website element by element before its final implementation and launch. Thus, you can test separate features and principles at each stage of the development. Nonetheless, evaluating the UX of an existing, fully working resource is an equally great idea if you want to timely revitalize your website, fix old mistakes, and keep it up to date. Ultimately, testing the usability is usually a task at hand when:

  1. You see that traffic is very inactive and doesn’t grow over time. Users don’t stay for long on the site and don’t interact with it much. This directly affects your sales rates. You can also be getting too much negative user feedback. These are the plain sights of the need to discuss possible improvements with a team of UI/UX designers.
  2. You are a product manager or product owner wishing to make sure your interface is easy to figure out and convenient to interact with.
  3. You work in user tech support and need to know what problems users may have using a certain website or web service.

Evaluating Usability: 10 Simple Rules

Use a checklist of 10 basic user-friendliness rules with follow-up questions that should point you precisely what improvements to make. Define the weak points in the navigation to be enhanced by professionals. Usually, for utter efficiency, whole teams of usability testers are gathered to get the most objective big picture. The checklist can be as follows:

1. Action indication

Users must easily indicate where exactly they are situated on the site at the moment and what actions they enable. For instance, they should see the loading visuals of a page they clicked.

Question to ask: Can I see at which page I am right now? What action helped me go to this or that page or section?

2. Intuitive interface elements

Every button or other UI/UX element must be intuitive, comprehensive, and to the point. It’s simple, really – a cart button should lead to the cart and the Order or Buy button should enable a payment processing system.

Question to ask: Do I understand the goal of all the links and buttons? Can I guess where they lead just by looking at them?

3. Full control over actions

Users must have total freedom of interaction with your site and be able, for example, to cancel page redirections and freely switch between sections and pages.

Question to ask: Can I go back to a page easily? Am I allowed to cancel random actions when I want?

4. Standardized website elements

The structure of the website pages must be consistent and similarly looking buttons shouldn’t confuse users with random functions.

Question to ask: Are buttons and elements have a logical color coding? Is everything organized consistently?

5. Prevention of misclicks and confusion

Users must never be confused with excessive buttons, links, pages, or other elements. Everything should be to the point. Most of all, people usually hate closing sections or redirecting to a new tab on accident. For such cases, you can implement notifications informing users about certain outcomes of actions.

“The greatest of faults, I should say, is to be conscious of none.” —  Thomas Carlyle, British essayist, historian, translator, and philosopher.

Question to ask: Can I make any cumbersome actions on accident without the possibility to cancel them at once?

6. Data availability and organization

All descriptions should be in place. Every page of your store, for instance, must describe what you can do on it and how to do it.

Question to ask: Is there enough descriptive info on the screen to help me reach a certain goal (order a product and the like)?

7. Flexibility and efficient navigation

Browsing through the website and redirecting pages should be as effortless as possible. And don’t forget about drop-down and expandable menus that make it easier to view structured information and don’t get confused with options and descriptions.

Question to ask: Can I avoid elements that don’t interest me and effortlessly jump from section to section?

8. Inviting, concise design

Usually, many online store owners are tempted to stuff as fewer pages with as much functionality and information. But a good website shouldn’t be too chaotic and overloaded with elements. Minimalism is always a more efficient way to go that better attracts users.

Question to ask: How many distracting elements that I could do without are there on the site?

9. Error displays

A user must know what to do next if they come across some error. The website should explain that, e.g., if the connection is lost you should try to reload the page or check the WiFi.

Question to ask: Do I know what to do in case of some error appearing on the site?

10. Easy-to-find answers to basic questions

A website must necessarily have a FAQ (frequently asked questions) section that should help users figure out the basics and clarify particular questions.

Question to ask: Can I easily find answers to basic questions?

Final Thoughts

If you want to go deeper, you can try using analytics tools, like Google Analytics, to assess the user behavior metrics on your site. And even though you can go through the checklist single-handedly and point out the major points to be fixed and improved, never neglect the assistance of experienced specialists. And remember, in 2021, good usability is not a whim but a necessary requirement of the demanding online audience of users.

Looking for expert team of UI/UX designers? You are at the right place right now – contact us and let’s discuss your project.

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