"Usability testing is a good idea for any new web site. Increasing the usability of your web site is a good idea because it will increase visitor satisfaction, which in turn increases sales and user loyalty. On the business savings side, usability testing can also save you money in development, maintenance, and support costs. Unfortunately, traditional usability tests is pricey — it can cost up to tens of thousands of dollars to run a usability test.
But it doesn’t necessarily have to. Here are five ideas to get usability testing done on the cheap. The results might not be quite as good, but they won’t hurt your pocketbook nearly as much.
As always, if you have any other ideas or have experience with any of the ones we’ve listed, please let us know in the comments.
UserTesting.com is a low cost way to get a look at what goes through the minds of average web users as they interact with your web page. For $19 per user, you get a 10 minute video of a user talking their way through your page, as well as answers to a short, written questionnaire. There is a sample video available here.
We reviewed UserTesting.com in an August issue of the SitePoint Tribune.
2. Feedback Army and Mechanical Turk
Feedback Army is a new low-cost usability testing service that for $7 will provide answers from up to 10 people to a text-based survey about your web site. It isn’t quite as visual as UserTesting.com, and the quality of feedback might be suspect, but nonetheless could provide valuable information about how people view your web site. And it’s cheap enough that if the results are a waste of time, $7 shouldn’t put you out of business.
A similar result could likely be had via Amazon’s Mechanical Turk service." (Continued via SitePoint, Josh Catone) [Usability Resources]