Bryan and Jeffrey Eisenberg are recognised leaders in the online marketing field, providing their usability and marketing services to over 26 countries around the world. The brothers are also the authors of “Waiting for your Cat to Bark?” – a bestseller as voted by the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and USA Today. Jeffrey has written for Forbes.com and Bryan has been voted as one of the Top 10 User Experience experts by eConsultancy. We speak to them about usability testing and the biggest concerns faced when conducting A/B testing.
What questions should you ask when inviting people to do usability testing?
We like to get a sense of their computer skills. We also want to understand their domain knowledge and their experience with the products or services the website is selling. Finally we find out how they research and make purchase decisions so we can understand how their buying modality corresponds to Competitive, Analytical, Spontaneous or Humanistic personality types.
What are some examples of bad usability or common mistakes?
The top one is the lack of consistency of ads to the landing page and then throughout the click-through experience. Some other mistakes are too many form fields, bad labelling, poor error messaging, and not planning your design for PC, Tablet and mobile users.
In your opinion, is usability still often sacrificed for design?
It amazes me how often usability issues still creep up today when they are so well documented and easy to avoid. In fact, I blogged about a site the other day that had 3 buttons all the same size and color during their checkout process, and right next to the proceed button they had a cancel button. Why? You can read about it here. The comments are interesting too.
What is the best way to overcome the challenges faced by different handset types, when considering mobile interfaces?
Test how the screen looks on different mobile browsers, there are several tools out there including Google Mobile Testing, iPad Peek, Test iPhone, and Ready.Mobi. Then after you see how it looks on a screen run some mobile usability tests with UserTesting.com.
“Waiting for your Cat to Bark?” is a great read, about persuading customers when they ignore marketing. What would be your top three tips in order to achieve this?
Firstly empathy. Step into your different segments of visitors shoes using personas to understand what their needs and questions are. Secondly, plan every detail of every experience. Experience matters more and more each day in a social media and mobile connected world. And then test. Keep experimenting until you get the results you desire and keep on innovating and improving on the experience.
What are the biggest concerns involved when doing A/B testing?
Mistaking good usability for persuasiveness. Usability is how people know what to do on a website, but does not necessarily address the needs or motivations on why they would do something on a website.
Thanks for talking to us, Bryan and Jeffrey. Your expertise on usability are much appreciated.