As I discussed in KISSing UI/UX, it’s important to receive a second opinion on your website or app design. The UI and UX of your website is the only opportunity you have to create a great first impression.
I speak from experience when I say, it’s very easy to be blinded by your own bias. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard a developer or client say, “Oh, this function is really easy, you just have to…”
Anytime you have to explain how to use any part of a website or SaaS product, you’ve told me it isn’t easy, it isn’t intuitive, and that users are going to stumble. Stumbling users is the last thing you want! The less a user has to think about what they’re doing, the more likely they are to move through the whole workflow.
So, if you can’t trust yourself to be honest about your own website (which, you probably can’t or shouldn’t), what do you do?
- Get a friend or acquaintance to use your website or app.
Pro: This is a great choice if you’re on a tight budget, especially if you have someone you can trust.
It’s also a good choice since you’ll be getting feedback from people who are probably the closest to a “real user” as you’re going to get. They most likely don’t have expectations and won’t have too much previous experience with UI/UX testing.
Con: It can be difficult to find someone (especially if they’re a friend or family member) to truly be honest with you about your website. If you can find someone able to give you honest feedback, it may be difficult to find someone who can also articulate what they do or don’t like and why.
This choice is also not typically very time efficient. Everyone is well-intentioned, but unless there’s money involved, it isn’t necessarily going to be their top priority to finish.
- Hire a UI/UX reviewer through oDesk, PeoplePerHour, Fivver or a similar service.
Pro: This is a good choice if you don’t mind spending a little more money (but typically not much) to ensure you get someone who has no vested interest in your website, so you can pretty much bet that you’ll get open and honest feedback.
This is also a good choice if you want to make sure you have someone who is experienced in articulating why they like or dislike features and aspects of UI/UX.
In addition, most of these services have a set turn-around time. Freelancers must provide their product within a given time frame or their rating takes a hit. So they have an incentive to provide you with your review in a timely manner.
Con: Though there are a lot of great freelancers out there, quality can be hit or miss. This solution is low-risk, time and cost efficient, but it may take a few tries to find someone who will provide professional and quality feedback. Once you do, however, you’ve hit the sweet spot.
- Hire a design or UI/UX firm to review your website
Pro: This is a good option if money isn’t as much of a concern and you want someone who can provide a quality review, technical knowledge, and development services. An agency will also most likely be prompt with their review and suggestions. Their presentation will also likely be clear and professional, which is very helpful.
Con: Design firms aren’t necessarily going to give you an unbiased opinion. As a company, they’ll have a design style, identity, and philosophy that they’ll be basing their opinion on, which may lead to suggesting changes that may not be necessary.
This can also be a pretty expensive option if you’re not careful.
As with everything, the best way to find someone to do a UI/UX review is to get a referral from someone you trust.
Next week, I’ll go over how to tell if you’ve gotten a good UI/UX review.