Let’s start with the very basics here. The biggest and most damaging mistake you could be making with User Experience is to simply not be doing it.
I get it. UX seems like something that huge companies pay lots of money for and at their level, it’s for the marginal gains that still make millions – but it’s not going to help SME’s or smaller businesses much. I used to think the same. I was wrong.
There are affordable and effective ways to test the usability of your website.
If you’re not at the level where you can afford an onsite, full-time UX expert and the costs of outsourcing testing. You can use a technique called ‘Coffee Shop Testing’ or ‘Guerrilla Usability Study’. In layman’s terms, this is simply taking your site out with you and asking people to review it for you (perhaps in exchange for a coffee).
*I would add here, the key to success with this tactic is to be very specific about what you’re asking people to review.
Don’t ask your friends or your mum – they should love it anyway. Ask strangers (or at least people with no positive bias towards you) and where possible ask strangers that align with your target audience. There’s no use in asking a 94-year-old what they think of your rollerblading e-commerce store.
This takes a little courage – but it’s well worth it. You can do this at coffee shops, with people you meet networking, just about anywhere. The data and insights you get will be vital and if utilised, will improve your website’s UX.
Wherever possible, get the opinion of someone that specialises in User Experience. UX experts are usually pretty happy to help out and very passionate about their specialism. If you don’t know anyone already, dig around on Linkedin and make a new friend. Just make sure they actually know what they’re talking about…