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Regular, ongoing testing

Access to a user testing platform has (finally) been a great resource to have.

Although I’ve carried out in-person testing, I’ve not had the chance to use remote testing until I joined VisitScotland.

More test formats

UserZoom offers up a whole range of useful test types that we can make use of and it’s allowed me and my colleagues to gather user insights to influence our work and to back up our decisions.

I have to admit that until quite recently I hadn’t made the most of the platform, or of testing in general.

For me, a lot of my work has been more centred on content development, crafting pages within the existing set of components and generally trying to apply some of the more technical UX/Accessibility considerations.

Regular, ongoing testing

This has been what I’ve been aiming to get set up for a while. A bunch of tests that we run often, to get some good baseline insights into how people use the site – generally, and for specific tasks.

The problem has been in trying to decide what to test.

The site offers up so many things, to so many types of users (a pre-existing state upon my arrival) so it’s difficult to know just where to start.

Helping hand with Accessibility testing

As part of the initial body of work to develop the site, an in-depth accessibility test was carried out. This was to surface the areas that needed improvement so that we could reach our legislative requirements as a public sector site.

Fortunately, the tests carried out followed a number of specific user tasks that the various audiences might try to complete.

Looking through these tests I found the ones that had the worst ‘performance’ and set about investigating the user journey that was currently being offered up for each of them.

It quite quickly became obvious to me that there were a number of improvements that could be made to ease some of the difficulties that had been noted.

But I didn’t have any first-hand info to work with…

Starting with the obvious/common

The 3 worst-performing tasks became the area of focus for my regular testing.

I also added a 4th test to track people trying to find the current job vacancies with VisitScotland – Google Analytics told me that this was a popular destination within the site.

I’ve now got my 4 tests to run a couple of times over.

I’ve also got a suggested update for the main homepage to demonstrate some solutions for these issues.

Now I should be able to use the test data to refine my solution further and then test that page to see if the changes have the desired impact on the specific tasks.

It’s the start of a journey that I won’t get to see through – I’m leaving VisitScotland in September, but it’s hopefully a process that my successor can continue to make use of to drive things forward.