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Website Redesign Usability

Have you looked at your company’s website lately? Did you ever think that web visitors might occasionally get frustrated? Website Redesign Usability is critical. It can make the difference between performing a task accurately and completely or not finishing it at all; enjoying the process or being frustrated.

Don’t guess at how people are using your site. In most cases, a properly executed website redesign usability test will uncover two key things:

  • Areas of confusing navigation. There is no doubt that your web design team knows how your site navigation functions. But does a new user know this? It is important to realize that about an hour into designing your project, your team has probably lost all perspective on how the interface appears to others.
  • Roadblocks in the flow or delivery of information. Not everyone in your audience may know that the e-mail address for the author is at the end of the text or that the panoramic photograph moves when the arrows on either side are clicked. What seems normal and natural to the designer is not always so with the user.

Overview of Creating Your Own Website Redesign Usability Test


1. Develop a strong web redesign strategy

2. Develop your questions and answers for better web practices

3. Conduct your usability test to improve your web redesign

4. Gather data for User Insights for your website redesign

5. Analyze data & list potential website improvements

  • Choose tasks. Determine at least ten (but no more than 15) tasks that a user should be able to successfully execute to get the most out of your website. Carefully select tasks based on what actual users of the site would do.
  • Test sooner rather than later. No web designer wants to make changes to something they believe is in its final form. Schedule your usability test in the beta stage of a site redesign — not quite finalized, but final enough so someone can navigate the site.
  • Do not test your colleagues. Anyone already familiar with your website or your company does not represent a typical visitor. In an ideal world, test subjects are recruited through a marketing research firm. Bottom line: try to solicit representative test subjects that are as close to typical users as possible.

2. Develop your questions and answers for better web practices

  • Pre-experiment questions. Give some context to the results and help you understand the web practices of your test subjects by asking them to quantify the amount of time they spend online. You also may want to ask questions that gauge their interest in the subject of the website you are testing.
  • Post-experiment questions. Administer a written questionnaire, once all tasks are completed, that asks users to rank their success with the site.
  • Interview questions. Plan a few open-format interview questions to ask each participant at the end of the session. These should elicit more overall, qualitative impressions of the website.

3. Conduct your usability test to improve your web redesign

  • Start with a welcome. Do your best to put users at ease by thanking them, offering them a cup of coffee, or just chatting with them for a few minutes. Remind them that it is the website that is being tested, not them.
  • Free observation time. Allow users to explore the site with no interaction from the tester. You simply direct the user to the site and step back. The only instruction should be for users to “Explore the site for as long as they would like.” Here is where you can either videotape their behavior or take copious notes.
  • Assigned tasks. Using the list you created, ask users to execute your preferred tasks. Have tasks ordered and prioritized, skipping over any that were completed during the free observation time.
  • Post experiment questionnaire and discussion. Have users fill out your questionnaire. Once complete, talk with them to cover open-ended questions.

4. Gather data for User Insights for your website redesign

  • Know what you are looking for during the free observation period. Carefully observe each session and take notes about the participants’ interactions with the site. Which tasks were performed successfully? What problems occurred?
  • Pay close attention to the steps users take to complete tasks. You want to discern the path that is clear and most natural for users when completing tasks. Ideally, they all will complete tasks in fairly predictable ways. But if they do not, you can learn something by the “mistakes” they make and how they recover.
  • Be as unobtrusive as possible. It may take them some time for them to get used to your presence, but once they do, they will become more relaxed and their behaviors will be more realistic and natural.

The first benefit of a web page’s title is that it should communicate to your visitors a lot of information about that unique page on your site. Viewers quickly determine if they’re on a page that answered their query sufficiently. Remember that your page’s title and descriptive introduction not also displays on page, but on Google’s knowledge graph in the search results pages. When people see a list of options garnered by a search engine, they read the page title to determine which page they want to click on and read. After, preparing your visual presentation, this alone is a good enough reason to spend a little time optimizing your page titles.

5. Analyze data & list potential website improvements

  • Average all quantifiable responses. Break down the number of men versus women, the average age of participants, etc. Be sure the demographics match your audience.
  • Look at the observation notes in light of quantifiable data. If users ranked navigational controls as weak, what behaviors during the free observation period support this?
  • Look at the success/failure to complete usability tasks. Go back and determine what common behaviors were exhibited by users when asked to complete certain tasks. Did they become confused at the same points?

All good designers and developers realize the importance of usability for their work. Usable websites offer great user experiences, and great user experiences lead to happy customers. Delight and satisfy your visitors, rather than frustrate and annoy them, with smart design decisions. – Smashing Magazine


Make a list of at the top three things that should not change and the top three things that should. Look at user suggestions for improvement in light of the changes you need to make.

Website Redesign Assessment

Contact us at 408-266-3162 for Your Web Redesign and Development needs.

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