My company is working on an agile website redesign project. The website is a content-focused, lead gen website. We have come to a disagreement internally about when to perform usability testing. I think we should do it along the way with what we design in a sprint. A colleague thinks we can't do that because we won't have all of the user flow pages designed with the full copy to test with. He believes that to test user flows we need full copy and therefore won't be able to test until the project is nearly done. Does anyone have any insights on how to perform usability testing for a content-heavy site for lead gen?

Thanks so much!

  • 2
    Have you agreed on what the goal of the user testing is? You can test the UI for different things at different stages of development. It can be an ongoing process. – maxathousand Jun 15 at 21:03
up vote 5 down vote accepted

You don't have to build the whole UI to test some features like navigation. Early in the design process, you can test information architecture with a tool like tree testing or card sorting. These are good ways to test copy and wording too.

Further along, you can test user flow with an interactive prototype built with wireframes.

Usability testing at the very end will likely be oriented towards A/B testing of very specific design features (like the color / wording of a CTA to increase click rate).

Waiting until the end of the process to do any kind of usability testing is usually not a good idea, as if major problems appear, it's often too late to correct them.

To add to the good @Celine's answer, you can conduct usability tests on partial functionality of the site, or some of its sections.

All you need is scenario or several scenarios, which should be covered in the UI or mockups. For example, you can test separately:

  • navigation, using card sorting. You even no need to implement it in UI!
  • registration
  • subscription
  • search
  • checkout
  • etc.

Also have in mind:

  • it's better to test earlier, having wireframes and/or mockups. It will save your time on the implementation phase
  • there are formative and summative usability tests. These have different goals in mind. The first one is great to detect issues having only mockups. Summative test is the final test, when you want to collect quantitative usability metrics for the redesigned site

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