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Website usability and design testing can be an expensive business. Many small and medium web projects can’t justify the costs of commissioning professional usability testing. Either the project budget is too small or testing would adversely affect the completion date. If you’re involved in a small scale project which can’t afford full usability/design testing then the lead designer and project manager will usually stick to industry best practice for U.I. elements and overall design.

Designers, clients and project managers rarely disagree on core design/usability issues, where you place a navigation bar or call to action are easily resolved. However, disagreements over color, photos and fonts are common place. Typically these types of disagreements can be settled by testing, but if you don’t have the budget – what can you do?

 

Until now – not much! Thankfully Usabilityhub.com identified this problem and produced a set of tools which allow you to quickly test design and UI parameters for little or no cost. You can learn how visitors interact with your design before launching. Find out what they think, what they remember, and where they make mistakes.

Test out mock ups/designs using a secret URL which you can share on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and email. Use the power of social media to get test results for free. You can also order responses from the UsabilityHub community at the cost of 1 credit each. Responses from testers of specific demographics (country, age range, gender) cost 3 credits each. You can invite as many of your own testers as you like for free. Fifty credits can be purchased for $45 and one thousand credits will cost you $500. However, you can earn karma credits by completing other people’s tests!

If you’d like to check out this fast and free method of testing click the link below.

Test your designs and mockups on real people…

Building a website is the easy part of affiliate marketing, getting visitors to the site is the difficult part, but not nearly as difficult as converting those visitors into buyers! Of course you can help yourself by designing a useful website, one which is easy to navigate and gives the visitor exactly what they want. But what happens if you do all that, and they still won’t buy? Why are visitors leaving the site after 30 seconds? Why don’t visitors click on those great promotions you run? Could a different web page layout uplift sales? Unless you can stand over the shoulders of all your site visitors, you’ll never know the answers to these questions – unless you spend £1000s on usability studies and focus groups.

For small and medium sized affiliates these studies are just too expensive, until now. Crazy Egg is a new online usability tool that allows you to track visitor interaction with your website. You can use it to test a new design, test content and discover which versions work best, test placement of key elements such as ads or action buttons. See where you visitors click via heatmaps, follow the visitor journey via page paths. You can also view bounce rates on individual pages, view referring URLs and track visitor via referring URL.

So how much does this all cost? that’s the good news, it’s only $9 (£5) a month! Join for one month and cancel if you like, test multiple sites or just test your homepage. We ran Crazy Egg on a number of our websites and discovered lots of ways to improve them. So if you serious about making it in affiliate marking, give Crazy Egg a go.