Leverage These 10 Tools to Master Website Usability and Design an Amazing Brand Experience
Is your website useful? Is it functional? Is it aesthetically pleasing? Does it reinforce your overall brand message? When your website is the first place customers and prospects turn to scope out your product or service, the answer to all the above better be YES! Each aspect – utility, usability, desirability, and brand experience – collectively shape an incredible User Experience (UX), which is essential to helping you reach your conversion goals.
If your company is undergoing a web refresh, or perhaps starting from scratch, use the following 10 UX tools to verify that your new site is effective, efficient, and digitally desirable to visitors. The tools can be highly useful if you are willing to put in the time to review the data and make actionable changes to optimize your site. Delivering a delightful user experience online takes effort, but the results have a significant impact.
Affdex collects and analyzes users’ facial expressions, reading such emotional states as surprise, dislike and attention. Recognizing each of these expressions, Affdex can interpret a large volume of viewers’ emotional responses quickly. Producing very specific results, this tool is perfect for companies that wish to establish what kinds of emotional connection customers have with their advertising, brands and media. www.affdex.com, @Affectiva
Just this year, ClickTale unveiled their new “Side-by-Side Heatmaps,” which provide enhanced insights into A/B testing (why visitors reacted differently to each version), and a better overall understanding of user behaviors. The side-by-side comparison also makes spotting glitches easy between different browsers or mobile devices. ClickTale products help marketers literally see their site through the eyes of their customers via full recordings of visitor browsing sessions. And did we mention they offer a “free forever” plan? www.clicktale.com, @ClickTale
More than analytics alone, Crazy Egg helps uncover your users’ stories. The tool tracks web clicks via visual heat maps to reveal where and why visitors are motivated to interact with your site – and where they’re not. The Confetti report, too, offers great insight into who is clicking what (i.e., new visitors vs. returning visitors; visitors who search X keyword interact with Y on the website). Need a reason to try it? Crazy Egg gives you 30! www.crazyegg.com, @CrazyEgg
Analyze your website and advertisements to uncover which layouts and features are captivating visitors, using automated eye tracking tool Feng-GUI. Data collected helps you optimize page layout and calls-t0-action to increase site usability as well as ad and brand effectiveness. Check out the “Areas of Interest” reporting feature, which lets you define specific areas of your site – menu, images, buttons, related services – and determine how much attention each area is capturing by percentage. Compare these numbers between different layout versions to find the best results! www.feng-gui.com, @FengGUI
Five Second Test
It’s simple; the Five Second Test tool offered by UsabilityHub helps you understand peoples’ first impressions of your landing page and website designs. Just upload your design and wait while testers view your image. Five Second Test collects responses and presents that data. Use this tool early in the process to tailor your wireframes and ensure your message is being communicated effectively. www.fivesecondtest.com, @UsabilityHub
Inspectlet just about does it all. Observe the entire user experience with eye tracking heat maps, and recorded screen captures from actual visitor sessions. The reporting site is highly useful, delivering real-time analytics. Track your social-buzz, page-load time, scroll depth, or custom metrics that are important to your business goals. With plans starting at $0, Inspectlet is definitely a comprehensive tool worth investigating! www.inspectlet.com, @Inspectlet
Created by Clearleft, this guerilla usability testing software for Mac OS is a favorite among designers and developers – and not just because of its clever name. Silverback records and exports screen activity as well as the test user’s facial reactions and audio. Provided you have sourced the right test subjects to avoid bias, you will have generated authentic, reliable data that can then dictate upgrades to your site. www.silverbackapp.com, @silverbackapp
TryMyUI is a master of remote usability testing with a simple solution for your website woes: watch videos of real people using your website; see what they like and what they find confusing. Just tell TryMyUI what tasks you want users to perform on your site, who you want performing these tasks (demographics), and how many users you need (as with any study, the larger the test group, the better). TryMyUI takes it from there, leveraging its diverse tester base to gather user feedback and deliver a narrated video of each user navigating your website. The perfect solution for a busy team in search of fast results! www.trymyui.com, @trymyui
Usabilla has made the UX process a piece of cake for marketers using its ‘Usabilla Live’ and ‘Usabilla Survey’ products. ‘Live’ is a real-time feedback technology; simply customize your button and form, install on your site, and collect data! The reporting dashboard shows everything from number of forms submitted, to emotional trends, and data, like geographical location, browser and platform type. Even more interesting is the ‘Survey,’ which is totally visual and straightforward, presenting results as an interactive heat map/click map. www.usabilla.com, @usabilla
Boasting “the fastest way to get feedback,” UserTesting generates results in 1 hour by recruiting participants to test your site. You just let them know what tasks you want users to perform, and they’re off and running. What’s more, UserTesting emphasizes both web and mobile testing equally. Closing out 2013, mobile was driving 28% of all Internet traffic, a 67% increase from the prior year (Source: Marketing Land). If that’s any indication (hint: IT IS!), then UserTesting is already focusing on leading its customers down the right path! www.usertesting.com, @usertesting