UX Research & User Testing

Testing Existing Websites or Apps

Paul Boag

Paul Boag

UX Research & User Testing

Check out a free preview of the full UX Research & User Testing course

The "Testing Existing Websites or Apps" Lesson is part of the full, UX Research & User Testing course featured in this preview video. Here's what you'd learn in this lesson:

Paul discusses the importance of post-launch testing and iteration for websites and apps. He explains that the best opportunity to improve an application or website is after it has gone live, as this is when you can observe real user behavior at scale. He also outlines the process of post-launch optimization, which involves identifying problems, diagnosing them, proposing solutions, testing those solutions, and launching the best option.


Transcript from the "Testing Existing Websites or Apps" Lesson

>> Testing existing websites or apps. So let's imagine now you've built your new app, you've launched it, it's all working, the world has seen it, it's rolled out. You're not done. And this is the biggest mistake people make. The best testing is once you've gone live, nothing, no amount of usability testing before you go live will replicate the real experience of people using a real website.

It's always gonna be artificial. It's always not gonna be as good. The best opportunity to improve an application or a website is once that website has gone live. Unfortunately, that's often where all the money and time disappears because everybody moves on to the next feature, or the next project, or the next whatsoever, which is very frustrating.

But there is a real opportunity here, so it's worth talking about just to wrap things up. So why? Why, post-launch testing and iteration are crucial to success? Well, there's a couple of reasons. One is that, that's only when you see real natural behavior at scale, right? So once a digital service goes live, we can observe user behavior completely natural without them worrying about being watched or whatever.

We can watch sessions back for all users at an unprecedented level. You can compare that to usability testing where people know that they're being watched, you can only test a handful of people, then suddenly you have the option to watch sessions of every single user on your site if you had the time.

That is incredibly powerful. And the second is that it delivers results. Post-launch optimization consistently delivers a dramatically improved conversion, right? I once worked on a website for five years. We didn't redesign it once over that five years, doing a redesign where you throw everything out and start again.

And we increased their conversion rate a hundredfold, a hundredfold. And it was a high base to begin with, right? And that's through post-launch optimization. Post-launch optimization helps every kind of website, but particularly it helps those that are e-commerce focused or conversion focused. But it can improve everything. It can improve web apps a lot.

So what's the process that we typically do, it's this, right? It's basically a version of Agile and the Agile kind of loop that you go through. So you start by identifying your top problems, right? Why are things going wrong on the website? What are the issues? Once you've identified those, you diagnose the problems with that particular page, where the problem is occurring.

You propose one or more solutions to solving that particular problem, and then you test those solutions. And finally, launch the best option out of those solutions. And then you go back to the beginning of the list and start again, right? Simple as that. That is it. That's what you're doing, infinitum forever, right?

So, let's work through that process and break down what you do at each of those stages.

Learn Straight from the Experts Who Shape the Modern Web

  • In-depth Courses
  • Industry Leading Experts
  • Learning Paths
  • Live Interactive Workshops
Get Unlimited Access Now