A handy guide about how we test content with users
Clear and engaging content is the key to communicating and connecting effectively with your users, customers and stakeholders. That is why we developed a unique form of moderated user/usability testing specifically for written content.
We test printed and digital content - such as landing pages, forms, print ads, letters, and disclosure documents.
We show you how to re-write your content. Our user testing reveals the content that is working and the content that is not working - where 'not working' means you are confusing your users, or leaving them disengaged for example.
As a supplier rather than an in-house team we provide testing resources when yours are scarce.
Our content testing is fundamentally about understanding the psychology and language capability of your users and how they interact with you. That is what we created these four steps:
Client 1. One of our clients asked us: do our customers understand that they need to download our app? How attractive have we made this offer?
Client 2. Client 2 relies on referrals. We tested how well the form they had designed for referrals worked for users
Client 3. This client asked whether their customers read their disclosure documents and if not how can we encourage them to do so?
In each case we tailored our approach to suit the unique needs of each client and showed them how to resolve the problems we identified.
We are experts in our field, and we are independent and objective.
Our content testing is usually small in scale, is easily affordable and can be turned around quickly. It can be used for digital content and printed content.
The benefits of using an independent user testing agency that specialises in written content are:
Impartiality. People who test their own material sometimes hear what they want to hear. Independent researchers hear everything.
Interviewing skill. Interviewing someone about their level of understanding is a very different thing from conducting a standard user interview. Interviewing someone who is confused and potentially embarrassed about being confused requires professional interviewing skills. We are research experts who have studied conversation science, so we know what users mean when they 'think aloud'. We understand how people read and how people talk.
Standards. We are members of the Research Society. We abide by a Code of Professional Behaviour that mandates privacy protection for example.
Our user testing is backed by the science of language, to give you confidence in your content.
If you are not sure what you need, or would appreciate our advice, we offer free consultation. This call is obligation free and completely confidential. Together, we can discuss the content that you are considering testing and work out what kind of testing it needs - if any.
Why you want to conduct the research?
Who are your customers, members, users, or stakeholders etc? Try to be as specific as you can.
When do you need this by
1. Test existing content
At the beginning of a transformation journey you may want to test how well your users find, understand and use your current content. Before you invest heavily in new IT systems and templates, make sure that you understand the problem from your customers' perspective.
Before committing to a major information campaign or template rewrite or any large scale exercise where you expect to write to users and customers, it's a great idea to user test some of your early drafts. This testing will tell you if you have written the content in a style that encourages your users to read. It will tell you if you have assumed that your users know something that they don't know. This type of testing teaches you how to write to users effectively.
Before going live, it is wise to do some 'disaster check' testing, to make sure that nothing has been missed. Last minute errors can create headaches for the business, overload your call-centre or delay your launch.
This new video explains why reading is like running.
If you write to users or customers and want to make sure you achieve the best possible outcome, these insights from the science of language will help.