why user experience (ux) and usability testing?

usable products lead to good reviews, free word-of-mouth marketing and higher customer satisfaction, which all lead to increased sales.

an easy to use website ensures that users:

  • can easily find what they want
  • can accomplish tasks quickly (eg, purchase an item)
  • are left with a sense of satisfaction afterwards (“wow that was easy, what a great site!”)

“45% abandon web sites with poor navigability, slow download times, or confusing content.”
(Boston Consulting Group, March 2000)

“increased revenues accrue due to the increased marketability of a product with demonstrated usability, increased end-user productivity, and lower training costs”
(Bias & Mayhew, 1994)

“IBM's Web presence has traditionally been made up of a difficult-to-navigate labyrinth of disparate subsites, but a redesign made it more cohesive and user-friendly. According to IBM, the massive redesign effort quickly paid dividends. The company said in the month after the February 1999 re-launch that traffic to the shop IBM online store increased 120 percent, and sales went up 400 percent.(Battey, 1999)
if your site or software is easy to use then it stands a much higher chance of being used regularly by your users. they will stay on your site for longer and spend more too.

“more than 83 percent of internet users are likely to leave a web site if they feel they have to make too many clicks to find what they're looking for, according to Andersen's latest internet survey.”
(Arthur Andersen, 2001)

“the repeat customers are most valuable: new users at one e-commerce site studied spent an average of $127 per purchase, while repeat users spent almost twice as much, with an average of $251.”
(Nielsen, August 1, 1997)

by ensuring your designs are user centred, you are providing the best user experience / UX you can. this can have a rollover effect in that customers will associate your brand with easy to use, well designed and thought through products, resulting in return customers for future apps.
“when systems match user needs, satisfaction often improves dramatically. in a 1992 Gartner Group study, usability methods raised user satisfaction ratings for a system by 40%.”
(Bias & Mayhew, 1994)

how many of your competitors incorporate usability? not many! yet so many big names rely on great usability to succeed; Google, Amazon, Apple. publications devote space just to this one factor, there are even websites and awards dedicated to sites and apps with the best user interfaces.

“the importance of having a competitive edge in usability may be even more pronounced for e-commerce sites. such sites commonly drive away nearly half of repeat business by not making it easy for visitors to find the information they need” (Manning)
websites typically lose “more than 95% of visitors before they can complete a purchase. inmost sites nearly 50% of shoppers abandon their shopping carts after clicking the checkout button.”(www.allurent.com)

“according to our survey, spending 10% of your development budget on usability should improve your conversion rate by 83%.” (www.useit.com)

“in one of our case studies...a website reduced its bounce rate from 30% to a minuscule 2.5% through a simple redesign.” (www.useit.com)
users gain more pleasure from using things that are easy to use so you should see increased positive feedback from your changes.
not many web designers include usability as part of their process so imagine how yours will stand out against the competition. users, bloggers, reviewers will all be eager to share their latest find with others. a blog can have a readership of hundreds or tens of thousands, gone are the days of 1 happy customer tells 5 others, now it could be that 1 happy customer tells 2000!
a well designed, intuitive interface should require little learnability. this will make it feel easy to use, effortless and pleasurable. most common complaints among Internet users:

87% sites are too difficult to navigate
84% slow downloading
61% confusing home pages
56% boring content NetSmartAmerica, 1999