Benchmark Usability (again)
The content is created, the design is implemented and the site is prepping for launch. Now is the time to conduct a final usability study to measure whether the new information architecture and design have made the site more effective, efficient, and easier to use.
This is where your previous benchmark study comes into play. Using the same tasks and metrics as your previous study, you will recruit a new set of users to test your redesigned site. With metrics in hand, you can now show stakeholders how the site has improved and where it might need additional attention over time. Remember, website design is an iterative process. Don't expect everything to be perfect upon launch! Rather, highlight improvements and continue to test and refine over time.
For more information on conducting benchmark usability studies, check out these helpful articles:
- Benchmark Usability Testing by Userfocus
- How, When and Why to Benchmark Your UX Research Findings by UserTesting
Once your website has launched, you are ready to monitor and assess its performance.
Review Your Baselines
First, review the baselines you established around key performance indicators (KPIs). Where was the old site in terms of usability, accessibility, and engagement? What were the numbers in terms of page visits, return visits, and links to important calls to action like apply, visit, or make an appointment? These are the types of metrics you should use to make sure your redesign has met your departmental goals.
Establish a Plan
Next, you will want to establish a plan to measure your KPIs at specific intervals. Web analytics can be measured weekly, quarterly, or around specific events like the start of the term. Usability studies should be conducted within six months of launch and then at regular intervals.
The age of the grand web redesign is past. It’s no longer sufficient to let your website grow stale until the next major redesign project. Instead, think about making smaller, iterative changes based on analytics and user testing.