Test and Tune

Date

June 11, 2013 by Brian Ghidinelli

If you're a racer, some of the best money you can spend is on an open test day at your local track where you fine tune your suspension settings or try something entirely new, looking for that last tenth. Professional web development is, strangely, a similar cat.

Click map image generated by Crazy Egg; displays where and how many times users click on our home pageCrazy Egg identifies where people click and superimposes the data on top of your website. A "heat map" style display is also available.


We regularly test our application to see where things are working and where they need help. Sometimes we discover the unexpected and other times we confirm or assumptions. We combine this with customer feedback and our long-term roadmap to determine our top priorities.

We have been experimenting with a new testing method recently from Crazy Egg. Their service tracks the clicks on a particular web page and allows us to run A/B tests or generate "heat maps" of click activity to see what is the most popular content on the screen. This feedback helps us understand what users are doing without having to observe each one individually as we would in a usability audit and augments our existing testing.

It's not as valuable as actual usability audits but Crazy Egg provides some of the same information as log file analysis in a more friendly format. Eye tracking software also exists that will watch the retina of a test subject and create similar heatmaps of where people are looking on your screen (hint: they start at the top left...)

Are you interested in learning more about how professionals test and improve web sites? Here are a few resources on the subject:













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