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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Sage words from Nielsen Norman Group about content testing

OK, so you have done all of the testing of your new web site's navigation but you are not getting the level of user engagement that you wanted. Perhaps it is because you did insufficient, or the wrong sort of testing, of the content?

 Nielsen Norman turns its attention to this subject in this month's newsletter. As usual they make some extremely good points.

These are the main conclusions:

Issue 1. Avoid recruiting proxy users: This is especially important in the case of older consumer.

NNg says : It’s not good enough to recruit participants who generally fit the demographic profile, such as by age, gender, income level, and location. Such criteria are too broad to give you deep insight. General recruitment criteria won’t cut it. You must find people who are actually in the process of researching the information you are evaluating.

Issue 2. Be aware of the limitations of unmoderated studies:  The best approach is to conduct a moderated study, where the facilitator is present.

Issue 3. Give tasks that are tailored for each individual:  Don’t rigidly control the activities or force an unrealistic task. The best results occur when study participants forget about the testing environment and immerse themselves in the activity rather   than  merely going through the motions.

Issue 4. Consider competitive testing:  Sometimes you can get insights into your users’ needs by allowing them to search freely on the web or by letting them visit competitors’ sites rather than restricting them to your own site.

Issue 5. Set expectations for time allocations: At the beginning of reach session, tell people to work at their own pace and not to worry about the time.

Remember, younger people are likely to be more forgiving of bad/inappropriate/wrong content than their parents. Following NNg's suggestions is a good way of ensuring you get it right first time. Dick Stroud

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