Saving money by not usability testing? Here’s why you’ll end up paying more
There are a variety reasons why an organisation might forgo usability testing and release their website or app into the wild, totally unprepared to compete with the higher evolved species that have put the UX hours in.
These reasons can range from a lack of understanding as to what usability testing is, to an assumption that the product doesn’t require any form of UX audit, right through to a belief that usability testing is prohibitively expensive. Another way that organisations rationale their lack of testing, and one we hear time and again, is that the website was created by a ‘UX Designer’ with the user in mind. In this instance, the designer, being an ‘expert’ in user experience, becomes a proxy for whoever the site is intended for, second guessing how they would approach, engage and interact with it.
Whatever the reason, the outcome is almost always the same: an inferior product that doesn’t perform to the expectations of its stakeholders, both business and consumer-side.
Marry in haste, repent at leisure. So the wise man said and his words can be applied here, with marriage serving as a metaphor for the decision not to commit to usability testing. There will be plenty of time to repent when the leads, orders and sales fail to materialise.
If your website or app hasn’t been put through its paces by a cross-section of its intended users prior to market, then you’ll inevitably end up paying for it via:
- Poor user experience – If the user’s experience of the site is damaged or frustrated by poor usability, they are going to waste no time in looking elsewhere. Possibly to a direct competitor who has taken the time to conduct usability testing.
- Loss of loyal customers – It isn’t just prospects who’ll be sent fleeing to the hills. The patience, along with the trust, of existing and loyal customers will soon wither when they find themselves unable to achieve their goals with relative ease.
- Lack of returning customers – Those who’ve put in the effort and eventually managed to accomplish what they set out to do on your site, probably aren’t going to be in any sort of hurry to put themselves through the experience again.
- Word of mouth – Social media and review sites such as Trustpilot are now key players in making or breaking the online presence of organisations large and small. Once word gets out that your website or app is a usability vacuum, those who might’ve been interested in your offering soon won’t be.
Not to put too fine a point on it, the money you saved by not usability testing the website will, in the long run, be small beer compared with what you stand to lose, both from a financial and reputational standpoint.
That is the true cost of rejecting usability tests.