Analytics can tell you where there may be problems in the conversion funnel - but usability testing is essential in surfacing what the problems are and how they might be addressed
Protect Your Bubble (PYB) is an online provider of insurance and related products. PYB wanted to undertake user research on its website to identify enhancements in order to facilitate a more efficient customer experience and to improve conversion rates.
We proposed usability testing of the PYB site, using think aloud protocols and ‘live viewer’ eye tracking technology, with 9 testers – people who had recently bought or who were actively considering buying products core to the PYB product offer. This testing would be undertaken as 6 unobserved tests followed by observed testing with 3 testers, involving key PYB stakeholders. This observed session would be followed by a facilitated discussion, allowing the observers to identify the key issues with the site and agree actions in a single day.
What we did
We discussed the objectives of the research, the proposed user journeys and web analytics data with PYB’s project manager: the analytics data indicated where there were issues that interfered with a good user experience. The aim of the usability testing was to understand what these issues were and how to address them. Analytics showed that most users enter the site via a search engine, so it was agreed to start the user testing from Google. We prepared a facilitation guide and agreed this with the PYB project manager.
We then recruited 9 testers and ran the testing sessions. All the sessions were conducted in our purpose built studios in Chippenham. The PYB observers watched the testing through a one-way mirror and on screens in the observation room showing ‘live viewer’ eye tracking. During the testing the observers captured issues on post-its as they occurred. Following the testing, a discussion was facilitated by Web Usability to agree the issues and appropriate actions.
Following the testing, we detailed the outcomes of the research and the conclusions of the facilitated discussion in a report, including verbatim quotes and screenshots. All the research sessions were recorded (audio recording and screen capture with tester picture-in-picture, showing eye tracking gaze paths).
During the facilitated discussion, Web Usability and the stakeholders identified detailed improvements to the site and prioritised immediate, short term and medium term actions; this reduced the need for post research debriefs thereby speeding the process from research to action. After implementing the recommendations PYB saw conversions improve by 80%.
PYB is committed to ensuring that the customer experience whilst purchasing our products remains a smooth and efficient experience. We measure our success on how we are perceived by the customer and the relationship that is subsequently built. We found the research undertaken by Web Usability to be very insightful and will no doubt add value to our on-line customer journey.
Adrian Skeete – Market Research & Intelligence Manager