User Research and Usability Testing

/User Research and Usability Testing

Every dollar invested in user research and usability testing will bring $2 to $100 in return, in part by stopping you creating your site based on incorrect assumptions, weeding out confusing navigation, and focusing on accessible site design.

According to Usability.gov, “User research focuses on understanding user behaviors, needs, and motivations through observation techniques, task analysis, and other feedback methodologies.”

At Key Pointe we conduct user research to help you uncover issues with your website and gather valuable insight into user behaviour. This insight gives us the tools to create better websites, products and services for your customers and users. We make sure your site or service works the way your users expect it to work and delivers what your customers expect.

User Research has many benefits – it can help you figure out where there are weaknesses in your website, why users aren’t understanding sections of your content, or how readable your content is and where you might be losing people.

Having a third party such as Key Pointe conduct your user research helps reduce bias in how testing is constructed and adds a valuable layer of impartiality. It also reduces the load on your internal team and can often be done much faster than doing it in house.

Our Process

User research includes interviews, focus groups, and contextual inquiry. It also encompasses usability testing which includes card sorting, task testing, and user testing. Each usability test is different and has different goals but the process will include:

  • Setting goals
  • Creating a test plan
  • Creating a screener
  • Picking a date and time
  • Booking a meeting room
  • Coaching coworkers
  • Recruiting participants
  • Running the test

Our blog post on How to Plan Usability Testing for your Website gives you a more in-depth look at our process. The following case studies give perspective on how the user research process can be tailored for individual clients:

Recent Posts in User Research & Usability Testing

How to Plan for Usability Testing for Your Website

When I take clients through the process of usability testing, they have some typical questions at the beginning of the process. How does usability testing work? How do we make sure everything is set up [...]

Usability Testing Offers Insight into Website Problems

Many aspects of usability testing are under your control. Set your goals and your dates, create your test plan and execute. Analyze the results and put together themes from the feedback. Participants can tell you about their habits, how your website fits into their work/life, and how they would ideally use your site. Taken all together, you'll be able to uncover many issues with your website as well as gather valuable insight into your users' behaviours.

3 Options for Usability Testing [Infographic]

With every usability testing project I do, there are a couple of standard choices we need to explore and make. Here's a quick overview of the options.

What to Expect from User Research

User research allows us to improve our websites, intranets, products, and services. Sometimes I work with clients who are new to user research and they need to know what the process of user research is like and what to expect as an outcome of user research. Before we assume that user research will answer all our questions and fully illuminate a dark abyss, it's important to set expectations for what user research can do for us. If you're thinking about tackling a project with research in it, here are a few things to be prepared for.

User Research for a Government Organization

Faced with a design mandate, this government organization needed to do research before designing the solution to ensure the solution was appropriate for its audiences. I was able to help this organization with an interview plan, interviewing, analysis, and journey mapping.

Usability Testing for a Government Organization

With three websites, this organization wanted to do user testing on all three websites so they could continue to improve and iterate on its design. They knew that getting constant feedback allowed them to continually improve their products. For this project, I was able to help them with test goals and planning, conduct the research, and write up and present the results.

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An absolute pleasure to work with – well organized, high quality work, detail focused, and very personable. She is definitely our information architecture go-to person for any future website development projects.
Brenda Cadman, Bon Accord Creative
Our company has used Theresa as a usability/information architecture consultant on a number of projects. Theresa is always very professional and her expertise is unparalled. We have continually received great feedback from our clients regarding the quality of her work. In addition to the great value she provides, she is extremely personable and a pleasure to work with.
Holly Robins, Wildern