Test & Launch Tools

Launching your new site can be exciting and a little scary. Here are some tools to help you feel confident in your launch.

User Personas

As you develop content, running through scenarios with Web personas will help you uncover issues with your site. A Web user persona is a stereotype, or archetype of a typical website user. Personas set the stage for building usable information sites.scenarios in which the user personas within this document try to find information and use your site.

Personas are hypothetical archetypes, or "stand-ins" for actual users that drive the decision making for interface design projects. They are not real people, but they represent real people throughout the design process. Interfaces are built to satisfy personas' needs and goals.

You can use personas to run through basic scenarios, such as:

  • What information are they looking for?
  • Based on their goals and experiences, how will they try to find the information?
  • How many clicks will it take for them to find that information?

Inspired by actual users of the site’s identified audiences, these characters allow designers and developers to pose scenarios in which the persona interacts with the site. Personas are defined by their goals, and through this practice the interface of the site and the information provided are made more targeted and intuitive.

Based on your persona’s experience of the site, make adjustments accordingly to ensure that your site is the most user-friendly and user-centric it can be.

Download our user persona package to begin running through scenarios.

User Testing

The most important component of any website is interaction. You can only expect success if your site is understood and easily navigated by site visitor. Websites that are easy to use get better results. Plain and simple.

As writers, editors, and insiders to the info, we are too close to be able to see our sites from the outside looking in. That is why it is important to get inside the head of our users, and the most effective way to do so it to watch them use a site. User testing will help you determine why they use the site a certain way, what information they are looking for, and what would make things more simple for them.

How do I do it?

Conducting user testing is simple. After you've identified the target audiences of your site, develop a list of tasks for them to perform. Also create a scenario for them to enact to better understand their though process.

Testing 3-5 users within each of your core audience catergories will uncover a wealth of information to help you improve your site, such as:

  • Ease of learning the site and how to use it
  • Ability to find, understand, and relate to the information presented
  • Efficiency of use once they have learned the site
  • Memorization or how easy it is to remember tasks on the site
  • Error avoidance and handling as they happen
  • Overall satisfaction with the use of the site

Launch Checklist

Before your site goes live, it's important to check, double check, and triple check that all of your content appears and your links work.

Download the site checklist for a thorough run through of what you should be looking over and testing before sharing your site with the world.