Edwin Antonian Team : Web Design Tags : Google

Guerrilla user-testing.

Edwin Antonian Team : Web Design Tags : Google

The issue

Recently we prototyped / designed / sliced and built a site. Once the site was complete and was going through content uploading, small issues started to creep in with the top header section where we had a search bar. The problem was that the search bar did not clearly standout and didn’t look like a search bar. 

A bit of background on the term “Guerrilla”. The term was first coined by Jay Conrad Levinson in his book 'Guerrilla Advertising' which is adverting strategy that focused on low-cost unconventional marketing. It is an alternative advertising style relying heavily on unconventional marketing strategies. 

Back to the issue and our solution. We did not have a budget attached to the project for conducting usability tests. The solution was guerrilla user-testing. This (out-in-the-wild) style-user testing is a no-frills, DIY approach. Although this is not rigorous usability testing, there is value in pursuing this type of testing when time or budget constraints are a factor. 

The benefits of Guerrilla user-testing:

1. Provides fast and immediate wins
2. Raises usability issues not even considered internally
3. Quashes in-house politics

To solve the issue we enrolled 2 of our spouses who have never seen the site to test the search bar and to see if they could navigate and utilise it effectively. The 2 questions we were looking to answer were:

1. Does the search bar standout at first glance?
2. Does the user know where to click when they spot the search bar. 

The user testing was recorded on our phones 

First user test..Question asked 

“How would you find the phone number of this company?” “How would you find a recipe?” The aim was to get the user to search for something they couldn’t find by scanning the page. 

First test outcome 

The user clicked on the search button to activate a search bar, they didn’t see the rectangle shaped search input bar as a input field.

Second user test…Question asked

“Find a carrot soup recipe on this website”

Second test outcome

The user said she would search for it but was unable to find the search. She does eventually find it and does click into the search field. We presume the search icon has help the user identify the search input field. 

Solution / outcome 

Once we did the quick user-testing we realised that the current solution didn’t work we need to do a quick redesign and pull forward the search input field and the button.