During a recent remote usability testing done with usertesting.com, we asked users to compare the website they were on with a site they’ve used in the past. In this excerpt from the test, you’ll see the woman struggling to find the correct category for “computers” on bestbuy.com. While she doesn’t explicitly say it, she clearly isn’t able to find them and quickly resorts to the search. Watch this 38 second clip:
A lot can be learned from this test: human behavior, her resorting to search, how quickly people give up on a task (she didn’t try to find it in the navigation again), how she thinks, and most importantly, the importance of usability testing. Too often I’ve heard from development teams (UX, design, engineering, etc.) that we are experts in user experience and don’t need to test. But this is a false assumption! You should be involving users at every step in the process.
Don’t let your conscience be your guide; let your user be your guide.