A designer’s job is one of the most difficult occupations, not depending on the sphere you work in. There is always a probability for designs to fail a usability test. Thus, it’s important to know how to avoid the mistakes that may lead to failing a usability test. Some designers don’t devote enough attention to the concept of usability because don’t know its actual importance. This can bring them to some awful results.

What is a usability?

First of all, usability is a criterion which evaluates how simple user interfaces are. It should be clear that this indicator is qualitative but not quantitative like CTR (clickability) or ROI (return on investment ratio). In other words, you cannot deduce a certain figure and fix it.

Nowadays, this direction is characterized by 5 basic qualitative elements:

Learning. How feasible the conversion tasks are to users who are on the site for the first time.

Efficiency. The speed with which users perform tasks after they have familiarized themselves with the design.

Memorability. How quickly users will remember the algorithm of actions after a long absence on the site.

Errors. It means their number, as well as the seriousness. In addition, the degree of frustration of users against an acceptable error is taken into account.

Satisfaction. How pleasant it is for visitors to use the resource.

Moreover, there are also other equally important quality indicators. The first on this list is utility, which determines if the website design meets the basic needs of its visitors. To know when a design fails a usability test you must understand, that you test and not the users’ reaction to it. You should underline the criteria that will clarify whether your design successful.

The importance of usability

Usability is very important for the field of eCommerce of any type. When it does not meet the expectations of customers, they leave the site and get directly to the sites of your competitors, where the selling landing or SaaS-solution meets the requirements of usability.

It’s obvious that potential customers will leave the resource where the main page does not contain any information about what the company does and what it offers. The same situation can happen if the site does not have a clear navigation and visitors do not receive answers to their questions.

To understand that your design fails the usability test it’s necessary to look if you have made any of the following mistakes:

– Unsuccessful content location

– Competing links and categories

– Information is disaggregated

– Duplicate links

– Hidden fees and charges

– Loss of visitors on microsites

– Unsatisfactory results of search

– Unreasoned filters

– Large amounts of information

– Unclear links

If you see that even one of these mistakes is in your design, it means that in the beginning you have chosen wrong criteria and set up wrong tasks. Step back and redesign everything.

To start your successful criteria you should use some books like George Piskurich Rapid Instructional Design. Also try not only to understand but to describe your objectives for comprehension. That would give a helping hand in terms of criteria that facilitate your team’s work because everyone knows what and who they are creating for.

Ask yourself a question, what users will be able to do with your web, graphic or logo design. Underline the main criteria and create tasks according to them, that need to be done. Don’t forget that stakeholders are not interested in process of design, they need the result and if your presentation is on a high level and all the criteria are observed, no one would say that the design failed the usability test.

All the websites can’t be perfect. There is always a piece of code or content that needs to be improved. The key which opens the doors to optimization is the knowledge of what needs the correction. Conduct tests and do not ignore the results of research because it would protect you from making lots of common mistakes. Remember that a good user experience of potential customers is impossible without a high level of usability.

The article was written by MARIA HEPALOVA