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Case Study: Superior Usability Testing for Website Development (Zach Katkin, CEO of Atilus)

October 18th, 2012

Userlytics: Superior Website Usability Testing for Web Development Companies

My name is Zach Katkin, and I am CEO and cofounder of Atilus, a Florida-based web development and Internet marketing firm. Atilus has been in business for seven years. Over the years we have a built up a diverse clientele and offer agency level solutions for to grow business with the web. We want our clients to be both happy with our services and confident with the final product we offer.

However, when you’ve been “behind-the-scenes” as long as we have in web development, it’s often hard to distinguish what works and what doesn’t work for website users.

A Major Client Re-Launch

We recently re-launched a website for a major client of ours, Panache Desai is leader in the self-empowerment industry and is on a mission to help people to tap into their infinite potential through private sessions, events, and webcast streaming.

My team and I were working on their website for months, and the new site went live August 30. The transition went smoothly, and the client and his team were pleased with the results. Although our client was satisfied, we wanted to make sure that THEIR USERS were thrilled!

Usability Testing with Userlytics

Given our client’s focus on webcast streaming, we turned to Userlytics to test our registration process for a webcast. There were 3 main items we wanted to test:

  1. Registering an account with the website.
  2. Purchasing webcasts (free, in this case).
  3. Viewing the webcast (if located in the archives).

To do so, we created a test:

Test: “Starting at the homepage create a user account. Once account is created, purchase a free archived webcast. Then figure out how to view your purchased archived webcast. Please provide any and all feedback on experience, usability, implied meaning/message of website, etc.”

We set the demographics, the tasks, and the post-task questions and we were ready to test. From start to finish, it took much less time than I would have ever expected. But let’s back up and take a look at how incredibly simple own web interface is.

#1: Incredible Ease-of-Use

I was pleasantly surprised to find how easy it was to both set up and review tests using Userlytics. The website is extremely easy to navigate and I found it intuitive. Thanks to the Userlytics Dashboard, navigating my account was a breeze. I was able to view tests in progress, previous tests and archived tests from one central location.

One of my favorite features is email notifications – I would receive an email for each completed test. Rather than check the website to see if my tests were done, I could just watch for a notification email – this saved a great deal of time on my part.

#2: Amazing User Insight

I believe that Userlytics attracts and retains fantastic usability testers. We could either pull from the Userlytics Panel with set demographics or from our own pool of testers. We chose to pull testers from the Userlytics Panel. We were also able to choose not only who was testing the website, but how many testers we wanted (5 for the first test and 3 for the second).

The tests were completed in almost no time at all, and viewing the videos opened a whole new list of updates to make to the site. Listening and watching the users in real-time took us through the entire usability process and features were pointed out that we hadn’t even thought of before. We were pleasantly surprised that many of our testers pointed out some of the same things that they liked (or found lacking):

  • A majority mentioned how easy it was to read the Captcha code.
  • Many wanted a menu displayed on all pages of the website for logged in members.
  • Many wanted changes to the webcast categorization.

Many of these suggestions were minor, but could potentially make a huge difference in the way our client’s audience interacts with the site.

#3: Awesome Support Staff

When we created our test, we ran into a few testers that didn’t seem to follow instructions. We stumbled upon 3 testers that simply went through the motions without saying a word – this does absolutely nothing for our research.

Contacting support was not something I was looking forward to, but I was pleasantly surprised with the responsiveness of Userlytics’ support staff (special thanks to Eric Lawson for helping!). I simply reported those videos and had a response within minutes (and this was at 9pm on a Tuesday). We were refunded our credits and had three new test spots available in no time.

Usability Testing at its Finest

Usability testing is something every web developer should be aware of as it allows for further improvement with users. After my experience with Userlytics, I can confidently say that they provide an excellent service for both small and large web development businesses. With the combination of Userlytics’ easy-to-use interface, access to amazing user insight, and terrific support staff, I can say that Userlytics is the best usability testing service my team and I have used thus far.

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