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Persuasion Testing

After you’ve designed your screens, the next step is to test them. Usability tests are usually task oriented. For example, an e-commerce usability test might ask users to “Find the first book written by John Grisham and purchase it.” The test moderator would observe users as they completed this task and would make a note of any difficulties. These observations, along with the users’ feedback, would be used to make design changes, and ideally, the interface would be tested and revised through multiple iterations. This is fine, assuming you have customers who are into John Grisham novels and are motivated to buy on your site. The problem with usability tests, however, is that they test a specific task, and they assume that a user wants to do that task.

Persuasion testing takes usability tests one step further by observing the overall effectiveness of the site and evaluating how well it influences users to transact. Persuasion tests are really variants of usability tests, and there are three types of tests you can conduct: goal-oriented tests, site-level comparisons, and product-selection tests.


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