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E-business Performance Research

Improve the conversion of your website

Out Lab Usability Test – OutLab ©

Assess and improve your online performance by moderated remote testing

Success starts with great performance. If you want your website to deliver, you need to know exactly how well it performs in terms of usability.

But what if your website targets customers in multiple countries or regions? What if you require the input of particularly hard-to-reach target groups? Getting the results you need may well turn into a time- and money consuming exercise, for most usability tests are based on lab situations that require the physical presence of participants. This is why MetrixLab developed the innovative OutLab Usability Test, or OutLab©, an interactive, quick and cost-effective method to assess and improve the online experience you are offering anywhere in the world.

Outline

OutLab© is a full-fledged yet time- and cost-effective usability test that helps you evaluate your website by means of moderated remote testing. The in-depth qualitative research method used in this test uncovers the perception of your target audience in any key market you wish, whether it be locally or worldwide. To put it more strongly, the lack of travel and lab rental costs makes OutLab© the method par excellence for multi-country testing.

MetrixLab’s OutLab© largely resembles our other usability test, iLAB©, not only in terms of high-quality results, but also with regard to our approach: the observation of users and potential users of your website in a one-on-one situation. The main difference lies in the fact that with OutLab© the participants find themselves in a ‘natural environment’, using their own computer in their own home or office. The innovative techniques used in OutLab© allow us to identify any usability problems and report you on when, where, and why these occur. And with the actionable recommendations you receive to improve your website’s usability, you hold the key to a successful website.

Methodology and set-up

OutLab© works by ‘moderated remote testing’: with a moderator centrally located, and participants anywhere in the world. Similar to the set-up of regular lab testing, our experts observe and interact with participants while they carry out tasks and answer questions. Both their performance and answers and the expert’s observations help determine the overall user experience of your website and the level of satisfaction its use generates. Testing occurs - in any major language you desire - through live contact (either by telephone or Skype) and the observation of a live copy of the participant’s desktop: an easily removable software plug-in allows our usability experts to observe the screen of any participant during the actual test.

OutLab© Test script

For every test, our MetrixLab experts develop a customised test script. The various tasks and questions are based on the examination of your website, your own input and other relevant information. Along with your concrete research questions, OutLab© addresses:

  • Concept of the website
  • Content (text, style and linguistic usage)
  • Navigation (structure, menus and hyperlinks)
  • Lay-out and presentation
  • Flow (findability and information hierarchy)
  • Conversion and conversion improvement possibilities
  • Interaction (forms, applications, search within the site)

Test panel
Participants in the test are either drawn from MetrixLab’s extensive OpinionBar database, containing both ‘regular’ consumers and business respondents, or your own client database. Participants can also be recruited directly on your website. Every single test generally requires about eight participants, as research has proven that this number is sufficient to find as much as 90% of the usability problems of an average website. If the diversity or complexity of the target group calls for it, or in case of more than one target group, the number of participants will be adjusted accordingly. Any remaining usability problem kept undetected by the participants will surely be discovered by our usability experts.

In certain cases, especially when multi-country testing is involved, when a variety of cultures and/or markets applies, we recommend a combination of both iLAB and OutLab testing. This provides you with not only the usability feedback on the various localised sites or specific markets, but also with a thorough understanding of cross-cultural differences. Needless to say, the overall results of all testing will be presented to you in an integral report.

Join the experience
MetrixLab offers streaming broadcasting for you and others involved to be able to ‘attend’ one or more tests from your office anywhere in the world. Thus, you can truly observe the test being executed, as opposed to merely read about it in a report. For your convenience, all tests will be recorded on DVD, with the consent of the participants.

Your benefits

OutLab enables you to examine aspects of usability for any target group imaginable within a limited amount of time and at relatively low costs. MetrixLab offers you:

  • A flexible research method apt to test websites, software applications, intranet, electronic equipment and various other products.
  • An easily accessible test method, suited for involvement of any conceivable user or target group.
  • The advantage of testing people in their own environment with natural settings and accompanying level of interference.
  • High quality reports containing research observations in terms of user experience and effectiveness. This includes a detailed description of usability problems that surfaced in the test, followed by actionable recommendations to solve these problems. Reports are presented with the possibility to discuss the test results with the researchers.
  • Pan-European and worldwide testing of your website with a detailed view of the overall user experience and variety of usability problems in different countries and markets, including cross-cultural differences.
  • The possibility to observe actual tests from your desk/office anywhere in the world by means of streaming.
  • A relatively short turnaround time, from the recruitment of participants to the delivery of the report, depending on your needs and research goals.

 


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