08/10/2022

Improving Landing Page Performance With Usability Testing Tools

Insights

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There are many reasons site visitors might leave a landing page before converting. Your page’s usability could be one reason.

A poor conversion rate or other metrics could be a red flag.

To evaluate your hypothesis, you will need to use a usability test tool.

This article will provide a list of web usability tools that can help you identify issues with landing pages. (+ some bonus information to help you make your final decision)

  •  What are Usability Testing Tools?
  •  What you need to know before selecting a usability testing tool
  •  11 Usability Test Tools for Websites and Landing Page

Let’s get started!

What are Usability Testing Tools?

Researchers use usability testing tools to evaluate and test their usability. The ease of a user interface’s use is measured by usability.

Researchers can use usability tools to organize each element of testing.

A facilitator and participant are often elements. They also have a list of tasks that they must complete during the recording session.

Regardless of what tool you use, all usability testing help you to discover:

  1. Design problems
  2. There are many improvement opportunities.
  3. User behavior preferences: Insights

A usability test, for example, can be used to identify areas where users have difficulty converting on landing pages.

Why bother? People won’t use things that are difficult to use. Low-usability pages are often abandoned by users, which can impact page stats and conversion rates. Weability redesigns, on the other hand, can increase KPIs by 83%.

Before we move on, let’s do one last thing…

The technical side of usability testing is quite straightforward. There are a number of tools that can be used to help you.

We are not talking about tools that you would use to test the usability of your landing page or website.

What Are Not Usability Test Tools?

What are usability testing tools, then?

Once you understand the basics, it can be confusing.

  1. The broad category of user experience (UX) includes usability testing.
  2. UX tools can often include multiple features beyond usability testing. User recordings (not usability), heatmaps (not usability), anduser recordings (usability).

Just for now, know that usability testing tools are not helpful:

  • A/B Tests. Also known as split-testing. Split testing is when web traffic is split between different versions of a design in order to determine which performs best. They don’t give any information about the page’s ease-of-use.
  • Focus Groups. Focus groups can be moderated in a group setting, which is different from usability tests. Focus groups record thoughts about an experience without actually observing users.
  • Surveys. Surveys can be used in conjunction with usability testing. Surveys, however, are not able to evaluate user interactions with your site like focus groups.
  • Heat Maps. This test shows how visitors interact with a page. These tools often provide ‘user recordings’ (i.e. session replays), which can help you identify usability problems.
  • Peer Review. Peer review is a way to see how your audience interacts on your landing page. Peers may not have the same interests, demographics, or product experience that your target audience.

What Must Know before Choosing A Usability Test Tool

Before you ask “What tool do I require?” you should answer “What do I want to create?”

Your project will determine the tools you require.

The test you are designing should determine the usability testing platform that you use.

Before you decide on a usability tool, make sure to do the following:

  1. Limit your research question to one hypothesis
  2. Know the types of data that you need
  3. Choose the method of usability testing you will use

More detail ahead…

#1. Create a Hypothesis

Kobe Digital tests all with a research-backed hypothesis.

Usability testing’s primary goal is to improve usability. However, you can make several hypotheses about what might be preventing usability from being improved.

  • It is possible that the navigation is not clear enough.
  • This page/screen’s objective is not clear.
  • It is possible that the content does not meet user expectations.

Your test design should be guided by a specific hypothesis or research question. It can help the moderator know what to look for and what to challenge during the test.

This step will also be easier if you are able to formulate hypotheses.

#2. Decide on the Type of Data You Need to Collect

There are several types of data. Each type of data can answer a particular question.

Let’s say I do an A/B test of two headline variations for my landing page. My hypothesis is that variant A will perform better with my audience.

Yes, I am correct. Variant A had a statistically significant lower conversion rate. To answer why the variant won, I need to do a qualitative test.

Data can be divided into two dimensions: quantitative vs. qualitative data, and behavioral vs. habitual data.

Qualitative vs. Quantitative 

Qualitative data answers questions regarding why and how to fix them.

You can gain insights about how your users interact with your design, and why they react in the way that they do. Behavior patterns observed during testing sessions are the basis of findings.

For most landing page usability projects, qualitative testing tools work better. They provide quick insights into potential improvements and wins.

Quantitative data, on the other hand, tells you how many or how much.

Also, Quantitative usability studies provide numerical metrics. These metrics are your user group’s performance in specific tasks.

An example of is the percentage of users who fail to complete a task.

Quantitative research is more time-consuming than other data types, and can be costly. Quantitative research is not a good choice for teams that are fast moving and have smaller budgets.

Behavioral vs. Attitudinal 

The second type is behavioral data (what people do), and attitudinal data (what people say).

This distinction is important because people’s actions and words can often be vastly different

You could send me, for example, a questionnaire about your sleep habits. You might ask me if I sleep 7 hours a night. This attitude data is called.

It is possible that my behavior might be different. This behavioral data report would be more accurate if you were to observe me for a week.

Researchers can use usability tools to collect behavioral data, whether it is quantitative or qualitative. These tools record user interactions with the design.

However, usability test results can be supplemented by attitudinal information (such as from post-test surveys).

Attitudinal data can be inaccurate. Combining both is magical. This combination can be used to help researchers find solutions and clarify data contradictions.

If people think it benefits your research, look for a tool that allows both types of testing.

#3.Choose a Usability Testing Method

Last thing you need to decide on is what usability testing method will be used.

UX platforms often reflect different testing methods. When you choose the right method, you will find the best usability research tool.

These are Testing methods for Usability

  • In-Person Usability Test (Lab Studies).
  • Benchmarking Usability
  • Moderated Remote Usability Study
  • Remote Usability Study Unmoderated
  • Session Replays (User Recordings).

In-person Usability Testing (Lab Study).   

A lab environment is where a user works with a trained moderator to complete a series of tasks. The moderator watches the user’s behavior and asks questions. He also takes note of any feedback.

Pros:

  • Capture facial expressions and body language
  • Participants can ask follow-up questions

Cons:

  • $$$ The logistical and cost-intensive work involved in obtaining this certification is prohibitive.
  • Time-consuming
  • Small teams find it impossible to achieve this goal
  • Most web usability studies are unrealistic

Usability Benchmarking:

An unscripted usability study. Uses a large participant group. This method measures users’ performance in a series of quantifiable, specific tasks.

Pros: 

  • Produces quantitative and deep statistical insights
  • Validates design choices

Cons: 

  • Expensive at $$$
  • Time-consuming
  • Experts are required to analyze and run the results
  • It is often unnecessary to increase the usability of most websites.

Moderated Remote Usability Testing

Remote usability studies mimic in-person usability tests. These tools include screen-sharing and recording capabilities. Moderators direct users through a set of tasks that are outlined on a page, or set of pages.

Pros: 

  • Your users will benefit from qualitative insights
  • Can you observe facial expressions?
  • Ability to listen to participants, and to ask them questions about their actions.
  • Alternative to in-person testing

Cons:

  • Can’t see users’ bodies language
  • It can be tedious

Remote Usability Tests Unmoderated:

Remote usability testing that is unmoderated collects qualitative and quantitative data from a usability platform.

Users will need to have access to a test tool on their device in order for this method to work. This tool records users’ attitudes and behaviors using embedded questions and recordings.

A scripted task list is created for each user to complete on a page, website, or wireframe prototype. After testing is over, researchers review the recorded sessions and any data.

Pros: The scripted opening of an unmoderated remote usability test (Maze).

  • Participants and the design team can adopt agile practices
  • It is cost-effective and requires little logistical effort. This allows for more frequent testing.
  • Tests often record eye movement, clicks, or audio.

Cons:

  • Participants can’t ask follow-up questions in real time about their actions.
  • Participants will be guided by an expert/high-quality script
  • A large sample size is required for qualitative data collection.

Session Replays

These are also called ‘user recordings’ and are video reconstructions of sessions that visitors have made on your website. Replays are unscripted mouse clicks, hovers and scrolls of users who visit your website.

Pros:

  • The fastest way to gain user insight right away
  • Captures unscripted and natural user actions
  • Low cost

Cons: 

  • Sample characteristics are not subject to control (Anonymous users have no control).
  • There is no audio or video recording of the user
  • Sometimes, follow-up testing is required to confirm observations
  • It can be overwhelming to hear so many recordings

11 Web Usability Test Tools

There are many tools you can use to test usability. We are not here to overwhelm you with them.

We have compiled a list of 11 web usability platforms that you can use. It is organized by testing method.

Let’s take a look at them…

Remote Moderated Usability Testing Tools

Remote usability testing is not something you will often find.

Full-service remote usability platforms are more common and allow you to run unmoderated or moderated usability tests.

A video conferencing tool is the best choice if you only need remote moderation. It should have screen sharing and recording capabilities.

These are just a few options to get you going.

Zoom (Video Conferencing Platform)

Usability Testing Features: Screen Sharing + Recording for Remote Moderated Sessions

Data Type:Qualitative

Pricing Free for all one-on-1 meetings less than 30 hours. $199.90/year 1GB cloud recording + transcripts

Mobile Web Testing:Users have access to the service via mobile

Additional Details:

Moderators can send instructions, links and tasks to testers via chat. You can record shared screens, audio and the faces of participants in meetings.

It is simple and easy to use.

WebEx (Video Conferencing Platform)

Method for Usability Testing:Screen Sharing + Recording to Remote Moderated Usability Check 

Data Type :Qualitative

Free 50-minute meetings The majority of features require a paid plan, which is billed monthly and starts at $180/year.

Mobile Web Testing:Users have access to the service via mobile

Additional Details:

Researchers have multiple options for receiving user feedback in-session, including zoom and a few extras like in-video voting.

The free version allows you to use screen sharing and chat but you will need to upgrade to the next package tier in order to access advanced features such as MP4 recordings, live polling, Q&A, file transfers, and transcriptions.

This option is most popular when it allows for advanced web meetings.

About the author

Kobe Digital is a unified team of performance marketing, design, and video production experts. Our mastery of these disciplines is what makes us effective. Our ability to integrate them seamlessly is what makes us unique.