I am testing the design and layout of a homepage for a SaaS product. The layout is not clickable so i am only testing how clearly it communicates its message and I am trying to mimic behaviour of first time visitors.

My protocol is:

users look at the page for thirty seconds

I ask them to tell me what they thought the product did and for seven random words (subconscious recall)

My question: what do you think of this protocol and do you know of any testing protocols that mimics the behaviour of first time visitors to a website?

  • 1
    Maybe also give the users some tasks, like: Find out how much this or that costs. That way you have a more realistic user behaviour as they scan the pages quickly and search for pricing information e. g.
    – Kweamod
    Commented Sep 9, 2015 at 14:02
  • nice, so give them 30 seconds to do a specific task
    – colmcq
    Commented Sep 9, 2015 at 14:07
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    Why not start with the 5 seconds test, ask a few questions (e.g. what do you think the website is for?), afterwards you can still do a usability test to learn other things? IMO 30 seconds is pretty tight, it could learn you something, but I'm afraid of the consequences of time limiting. (e.g. super focussing on getting one thing super clear, while the other things on your site will probably suffer from this)
    – Xabre
    Commented Sep 9, 2015 at 14:38

1 Answer 1


Your approach is limited to the Cosmetic Appearance of the Webpage.

Memories are created due to experiences and not on appearances alone.

Since a User cannot interact with your SaaS product, it'll be harder for them to just visualize and recollect, since their primary focus could be on anything else.

However, if you could possibly ask them to view the design and assign them a challenge, it could work far better since they'll focus on the particular challenge.

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