By Paige Payne
Oct 6, 2009
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The last session I attended for Monday Oct 5th was, “Increasing Conversions Through Better Usability.” This session examined how improving your site visitors’ experiences can increase conversions. The moderator for the session was Gordon Hotchkiss, President and CEO, Enquiro. Speakers were Scott Brinker, President & CTO, ion interactive, inc.; James Fenelon, Interactive Product Director, nFusion; Kimberly Krause Berg, Usability and SEO Consultant, UsabilityEffect.com/Cre8pc.com; Alissa Ruehl, Manager of Website Effectiveness Consulting, Apogee Search
James Fenelon began the presentation by discussing the basics of usability testing starting with his definition:
how long a subject (user) takes to find what they are looking for, accuracy, recall, and emotional response.
Being that for users, site impression is made in 1/20th second and that users only spend an average of 27 seconds on a page, James emphasized the importance of usability testing.
The aim behind designing a site or landing page is to help site visitors accomplish their goals and navigate the site in a way that also helps the site owner accomplish his or her goals. A starting point is to define those business goals. Define what you expect to accomplish compared to user goals.
James gave some basics examples on how you can go about doing this through heuristic reviews, card sorting, and prototype testing.
Card sorting consists of writing the name of each main item or goal you wish to accomplish on an index card and then asking the user to explain what it means to them.
Prototype testing is the process of putting together images or prototypes of the site features you want to test, presenting them to users, and testing their reactions.
He pointed out that it is important to start usability testing as early in project as possible. If that’s not possible, just be sure not to skip it entirely because any testing is better than none for saving time and money in the long run.
The next presenter was Alissa Ruehl on how usability testing can help improve conversion rate. Alissa suggested the following process for pinpointing what needs to be addressed on the page:
The third speaker was Kimberly Krause Berg. She pointed out that it is difficult to convert traffic to sales when you haven’t figured what your web site is expected to do and who will use it.
Her suggested method of diagnosing and solving the problem of designing a new site or redesigning an old site is to use a requirements site document in order to address and prioritize all of your business needs.
The last presenter was Scott Brinker who mainly talked about how implementing a faster process for implementing landing pages can benefit you greatly. He approached this topic by posing an alternative way to view usability. He proposed thinking about usability as the concept of usefulness. Throughout the design of your landing page, target to what the consumer is looking for based on what you can glean of user intent from search queries.
(searcher’s intent) -> keyword /search query -> ad copy -> landing page
This reiterates the importance maintaining consistency between landing pages, keywords, and ad copy.