As an Internet enthusiast, I will cherish for a long time the nice experience that I had yesterday (15th May 2011). So which experience am I referring to? Well, yesterday I had the opportunity to attend, and be part of, a “User Testing” event conducted by “Teekha Web”, the upcoming online solutions consultancy launched by a bunch of passionate and energetic Web enthusiasts, who eat, sleep and breath WWW.
The concept of “User Testing”, as they explained to me, entails conceptualizing and designing the outline of a web site by strictly keeping in mind the target user. Well, people may say that there is nothing unusual about it, as the target audience is kept in mind while preparing every web site. That is in fact one of the basic rules of web site preparation. True! But as a former content writer I know that this focus on target audience is given mainly while preparing the web site contents (such as text and its language, images and pictures, etc.). But usually not much focus is given on user friendliness in terms of “navigation designing”. It is very common for web site makers to forget to judge whether their web site is easy to navigate, where the user will be able to easily detect the appropriate links, before clicking on the same and accessing exactly those web site pages that contain the information/data that they are looking for.
And it is precisely this factor that is emphasized on in this “User Testing” concept. As per this concept, before actually getting into preparing the web site content, the content preparation team should sit together and conceptualize the web site home page through the eyes of the target audience. They will discuss among themselves (a la brainstorming) and try to identify each and every information/data that the target audience will like to have in the web site. And they will give equal focus on how the links to those data are to be put on the web site, so that the target audience has no problem in detecting/identifying those links and click on them. The basic tenet of the “User Testing” concept is that it is not enough to put necessary information/data in the web site. But you should also ensure it that the target audience has no problem in identifying the links to those data. If the links to those data get lost in the “jungle” of various confusing links, etc., and the target audience fails to access the information/data that they are looking for, then the presence of those information/data in the web site becomes meaningless, right?
I in fact had the “hands on” experience to be a part of this “User Testing” practice. I joined a team that was conceptualizing the home page of a hotel, and enjoyed the experience like anything. While it left me nostalgic by reminding me the experience I used to have as a content writer, I also enjoyed the thrill of learning a new but key concept of web site preparation.
I profusely thank “Teekha Web” team for the great experience (which was both educative and thrilling), and wish them all the best.