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Using usability testing to find the customer pain points



The digital marketing world often mentions the term "pain points". These are things that annoy the user or problems they come across while using your product. As a marketer or website owner, identifying the pain points allows you to eliminate them.

You know what that means, right?

It means that you can make your users happy and keep them coming back for more. It means higher customer retention, more sales, and better online visibility.

Now all that is left is to learn the answer to the following: How do you go to determine these pain points to eliminate them?

This article can help you with that.

Using usability testing to find the customer pain points

What is usability testing?

Usability testing is a method used to test the functionality of a digital product, a website, or an app. This is done by observing users as they use the product in question.

Very often, marketers use the term website usability testing. The two are used interchangeably since a lot of user testing is performed entirely on a website. This allows researchers to see how successful the website design is, how easy it is for the user to navigate through it, how well they understand the content, etc.

The importance of usability testing

It’s hard to identify all of the issues that users have with your website, even if you use a variety of tools for analytics. To really understand the experience of users when they open your site and use it, you need real-time insight. This is where usability testing comes into the picture.

If done right, usability testing will help you learn if your users:

  • Understand how the website works and find the information on it clear
  • Can complete the things they came on the site to do
  • Can navigate through the site without encountering bugs or other issues
  • Have a pleasurable and efficient experience
  • Enjoy fast loading speed and can take action when they decide to

This type of research is very important at different stages of your project. You can use it when launching new products, designing new updates, or simply seeing how your site works with the audience.

In other words, it will help you find the pain points of your customers and address them as soon as possible.

Testing usability in order to find the pain points of customers can potentially come with many perks. We’ve narrowed it down to the three most important ones:

Helps you build loyalty

If you achieve customer satisfaction by eliminating the pain points of your users, you can boost customer web experience and get higher retention and loyalty in return.

Reduces your expenses

A lot of the time, you can’t discover what is wrong with the website until it is too late – or too expensive. It’s very hard to find the errors before they are right there staring at us and costing us a fortune. With user testing, you can uncover these ahead, which is much better for your wallet.

Helps you target your user better

As a business person, you are probably well aware of how important it is to target the right people in your marketing strategy. Usability testing won’t just show you what your customers experience when using your product or site. It will also help you understand their behaviours and needs i.e. help you build the most accurate buyer persona.

The simple way to do usability testing

This sounds like a lot of work, but it actually isn’t if you know what tools to use for it.

Tools like Maze make usability testing very simple.

All it takes for you to perform your analysis of the user behaviours and determine their pain points is spending a few minutes tweaking the ready templates.

Maze does all of the rest, including the calculations and reporting, leaving you with ready information on what your users need and want.

Maze make usability testing very simple


Finding the customer pain points with usability testing

You dedicated tons of time and money to designing something that should look amazing and function perfectly for your users. Great developers and designers always have the user experience in mind. However, things aren’t going as well as planned. People are leaving the site too soon, you’re not getting as much retention as you expected, etc.

At this point, you have to realise that no designer can know exactly how the users will respond to their work, even if they have the most amazing skills and dedicate tons of time to UX research. People experience the website differently, which is why usability testing is a great idea.

When doing usability testing, you should know that pain points can occur at any place on the website. Still, we’d like to look at the most common areas where users have pain points these days.

Pain point: navigation

People search the net looking for information or solution. As soon as they find something interesting and of value, they explore it further. They want to move around the website without an issue, open the pages they need, and make orders seamlessly when they are ready.

Users also want to do this on their phone devices. Mobile optimisation is more important than ever but, since you have to optimise for all screen sizes, it can be tricky at times. As a result, up to 96% of users, these days come across websites that aren’t mobile-optimised.

Up to 67% of mobile users are more likely to buy a product on their phone and leave the site that doesn’t make it possible.

Top reasons for visitors to leave a website


If the user decides to navigate beyond your homepage, you’ve done a good job with creating an attractive design and offering them value. Still, many of the users experience issues with navigation such as slow loading pages, unclear descriptions,  etc.

Pain point: onboarding

The onboarding process must be frictionless if you want to convince people to come back for more. The returning user is the "best user" you can get. It costs less and is more promising since you’ve already built loyalty with them. This is why the onboarding process is of utmost importance for designers.

This is also where most of the pain points of users are. With the goal to collect more useful information or keep people’s data safer, many sites make this process too lengthy or demanding. With usability testing, you can see if people can sign up on your site, for a newsletter, buy a product or take any other action with ease.

Pain point: content relevancy

Content is king in digital marketing. This is why we aim to produce quality and original content regularly and fill out our pages with things for people to read and see. Still, this doesn’t mean that people will be willing to navigate through the content that isn’t of value to them.

If this is a pain point for your users, you’ll notice them bouncing out of the website without looking at other pages. Usability testing can show you what content doesn’t offer value or is not relevant to the rest of it.

Pain point: the check-out

Let’s say that you’ve done things right and won the customer’s trust. They are now ready to make a purchase and basically, check out! Good job so far, but is this process optimised for the user?

A lot of the time, users come across a checkout process that is too long and unnecessarily demanding. Having to go through various checklists, write down tons of information that isn’t relevant to the purchase, and spend a lot of time just to buy something can be a big turn-off.

Payment checkout

Some other common usability problems

The four above are the issues that most often turn up during usability testing, but they sure aren’t the only things you might find. Some other common pain points include:

  1. Inconsistency in the design, the layout, the headers’ position, the buttons, etc.
  2. Too much content that makes it hard to navigate (for example, too many submenus)
  3. Links that keep opening in new windows
  4. A site map without proper structure
  5. Delayed or unprofessional response from the support

How to uncover the pain points with usability testing

Anything that might interfere with the ability of users to complete their goals on your site or with your product is a pain point. But, how do you use usability testing to come up with this information?

The first step is to analyse the user data and behaviours. Based on your usability testing information and the report, you can analyse how people behave and respond to your design and product. At this point, you shouldn’t have any difficulty in understanding what bothers your users and what they like.

The second step is to watch the users while they interact with the product. This is one of the great things about usability testing – you can observe people interacting with your products to find their shortcomings and flaws. This will tell you how long it takes them to complete the task, how happy they are with the product, and allow you to identify the required alterations to make them happy.

Last and most important, you need to understand that usability testing is all about asking the right questions. You need to know what questions to ask at which stage to get the most accurate and actionable information about your product.

Article by Mariam Mirzoyan: DCP Web Design London

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