Why User Testing Is An Essential Part Of Any Digital Experience

February 2, 2021

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As more brands look to optimize their eCommerce experience in 2021, user experience and user testing should be an integral part of any digital strategy. A recent study found that improving user experience can increase customer satisfaction by 20% and increase revenue by 15%.

As the Director of Experience at Zehner, it’s my job to understand consumers and identify the challenges, motivations, and goals that inform a user’s experience. Here’s why user testing should be on your radar this year.

Why User Testing Is Important

User testing is a part of user research (UXR), the study of users, their needs, and their pain points. User testing can encompass stakeholder interviews, competitive analysis, and audits.

Conducting user interviews with moderator scripts can provide essential insights that can drive design and experience choices. User testing demonstrates the power of qualitative data because quantitative data surfaces new questions that only qualitative research can answer.

One example of this arose in our work with Tailored, a pet nutrition company that crafts health-first dog food. For Tailored, the quantitative data shows a higher than average bounce rate on the homepage. Our team jumped in and did qualitative research to uncover the why. We found that consumers were looking for transparent pricing on the homepage and immediately left the site when they didn’t see that information.

Our work with Tailored demonstrates how research is so much more than making a product usable. We learn how to meet users’ needs, pains, and goals on an emotional level through user testing.

We learn how to meet users’ needs, pains, and goals on an emotional level through user testing.

- Elaine Pham, Associate Director of Experience

What Brands Need To Understand About User Testing

Organizations also need to come to terms that not all enhancements will directly improve conversion rates.

When we did qualitative research on a leading skincare and beauty brand, the interviews suggested the need for social validation through a starred product review system. But when the company’s data team had run an A/B test on a starred review system, it didn’t result in conversion improvements.

The takeaway here is essential. If users search for that information and it’s there, the brand has created a good user experience where shoppers can find the information they want and make informed purchasing decisions.

The Meaning of ‘Good UX’

Good UX is invisible. We want users to progress through a flow without thinking about it and explore the experience at their own pace.

The important thing for brands to understand is that data only tells half of the story. You can have the best product in the world, but if it’s not meeting a need, you don’t have a viable product. UX is really about sitting down and having conversations with your consumer. So to have good UX, you have to first understand who your users are.

Good UX is invisible. We want users to progress through a flow without thinking about it and explore the experience at their own pace.

- Elaine Pham, Associate Director of Experience

Building an Optimization Plan Based on UXR

When you have an optimization plan in place, you can pivot and scale much faster than an organization that hasn’t invested in optimization. An optimization plan puts you at the cutting edge of emerging technologies and trends.

Getting into an optimization mindset also means you can build a closer relationship with your consumers, know their behaviors, and get better at serving them every time.

Through spending countless hours talking with consumers, I’ve realized that many brands think they’re in conversation with their consumers when they actually aren’t.

User research bridges the gap between the conversation you think you’re having and the conversation you want to have. Brands need to recognize the opportunities user testing provides. Valuing and investing in what your customer has to say is the only way to optimize your digital experience.

User research bridges the gap between the conversation you think you’re having and the conversation you want to have.

- Elaine Pham, Associate Director of Experience

To learn more about Zehner’s optimization plans and how user testing can benefit your brand, get in touch with us today.

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