Have you ever checked your web analytics and noticed that your bounce rates are high, but conversion rates are low? You know that’s not a good sign, but have no idea why your performance is suffering. Your copy is great. You have calls-to-action in all the right spots. Your offers are dialed-in. Now what?
Have you considered user experience?
Too many marketers make the critical mistake of creating a website that works for them, rather than a website that works for the customer. Fortunately, there are plenty of great tools available to help you test and evaluate the user experience on your website.
Here are fourteen that deserve a place in your digital marketing arsenal:
Research and Analysis
Do you know what it looks like when someone browses your site? Do you know where they click, where their mouse goes, and what catches their attention?
If not, start your user experience evaluation with the following tools:
UserTesting offers a wide variety of services for testing your user’s experience. You’ll have the ability to choose the user profiles that you’d like to survey and they even offer a service for you to see real-time video of test participants using your site or app.
This testing tool allows you to test both conversion and user experience. With nine individual applications that you’d otherwise pay for separately, UsabilityTools allows you to access a user research panel, run A/B tests, record visitor activity, test forms and more.
A market leader in user testing, ClickTale allows you to watch video playback of how users experience your site on both desktop and mobile devices. Doing so will help you to eliminate pain points, increase conversions and grow your business.
This testing tool allows you to test both conversion and user experience. With nine individual applications that you’d otherwise pay for separately, UsabilityTools allows you to access a user research panel, create feedback forms, record visitor activity, test web forms and more.
Find out what users think of your screens or mockups before they go live by using Verify. Testing ideas and getting feedback before implementation in this way can help you save tons of time and reduce unnecessary rework.
Design and Framing
All great websites and mobile applications begin with a great idea… that’s been designed and tested before launch.
If you want to make sure you have the best user experience possible before you go live, these tools will give you a head start:
Create clickable, interactive prototypes with ease using InVision’s perfectly simple tool. Using InVision, you’ll have the ability to transform flat compositions into more lively prototypes. Plus, they make it simple for you or your clients to view the prototypes on a smartphone or desktop.
To create a fast, hassle-free website mockup to gather pre-coding feedback, try Balsamiq. The software has a “pencil-and-paper” feel, allowing you to quickly sketch a design and receive feedback before you go through all the trouble of implementing your design.
For quick, clickable prototyping, Pidoco is a great tool. With an easy-to-use interface and sharing and collaboration features, Pidoco makes it simple to create an entire website, receive feedback and test your design before launch.
With wireframing software for both websites and mobile apps, MockFlow is a great solution for those looking to design flexible user interfaces. Depending on your needs, this program offers individual tools for website design, website building and team collaboration.
For those designing mobile applications who want a rich prototyping experience, Proto.io is the answer. Use this helpful tool to design fully-interactive app prototypes with media, animations, and touch events. It’s perfect for testing and gathering feedback before launching your app.
The best websites and mobile applications are those that have been tested, no matter how big or small the resulting changes may be. Even the smallest tweak, brought about by A/B split testing, can dramatically improve conversion rates and user experience. Here are the tools you need to help test your different designs:
A well-known landing page and website test software, Optimizely does it all. You can use this program to edit your colors, images and text, schedule your tests and immediately deploy the winning solution. Multivariate testing is also available through Optimizely for more advanced marketers.
This usability testing tool from Google Analytics allows you to assign certain percentages of your traffic to the different page versions you’ve deployed in order to test the statistical significance of your proposed changes. Best of all, it’s free, making it a great cost-effective option for those who know Google Analytics well.
Convert is another multivariate and A/B testing system that can be easily integrated with Google Analytics. With a simple editor that doesn’t require HTML knowledge, Convert is an easy option for those without much technical know-how, as well as for those who do know more. Of particular interest is the program’s geo-targeted variations tool, which allows you to measure the impact of your split tests on users around the world as a function of their location.
Visual Web Optimizer is an all-inclusive tool with an easy point-and-click interface. Both multivariate and A/B testing are available, along with split URL testing and various targeting options. No matter what industry you operate in, this tool makes it easy to understand what type of site will provide the best user experience and conversion rates for your company.
How a user experiences your website comes down to a number of different factors. By watching customers interact with your site, collecting data on their activities, using mockups to gather feedback and split testing your page variations, you’ll enable your website to provide the best user experience possible.
Editor’s Note: Our readers are passionate about their toolsets! Here are a few others that have been suggested by the community:
- Optimal Workshop – Tools for card sorting, tree jacking, and click testing.
- UXPin – Wireframing and prototyping, built-in usability testing, and collaboration.
- Crazy Egg – A DT favorite! Get heat mapping and scroll mapping to see how your real users are using your website.
- Inspectlet – Watch individual visitors use your site with browser playback videos.
- Omnigraffle – A great wireframing tool for Mac users.
- UX Kits – Pre-built abstracted wireframes for a variety of digital products, and be sure to check out their handy card decks.
What tools do you use to evaluate user experience? Share any other recommendations you have in the comments below!