One of my favourite parts of my job is usability testing, it sounds very boring but it serves a big purpose – making your sites usable can be tricky, but making your sites usable to how you want them to be can make the difference between your site taking off and your site failing miserably. Heck, words being changed have made the difference between a hugely successful site and not.

However, one thing I have noticed is that these things take a stupid amount of time, and often money. However, a website pointed to me by Dan Grossman on Twitter was Five Second Test.

Anyway, what you do is very simple.

Take A Screenshot Of The Page You Want To Test
For this I’m using Retro Garden. This is what I’m using.

rg5stthumb

Create Your Test
Right on the home page (this website’s very usable!) there’s a box that looks something like this.

5st

Very simple, the only thing is whether you want a “classic” (they have to see how much they remember after 5 seconds) or a “click test” (they click on various parts of the screen and annotate them). Personally, I prefer “Click test”, as you get a better idea of where people go for.

Wait
Your image is added to the queue of Random Tests, normally though you’ll get a new response about one every hour.

Check The Results!
Finally, you can log in and check the results.

5str

I’ve had in little under 24 hours eight responses. You see where people click, and most importantly why.

Overall this is a very useful thing for testing layouts, particularly in the embryonic stage. You’ll never get a proper result and find out if people sign up, but it’s great for testing website layouts & posters (I’ve seen a few of them, and it’s great for a five second test – I’m planning on posting a couple of BWP posters on that).

Do you use any other usability tests? Share them in the comments!

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