What usability testing method should I use?



We have changed the design of our download form (Form you fill out to download a white paper or a guide) inline with a site redesign.

It has been 1.5 months since we did this and the commercial guys say that the response rates have dropped significantly since the redesign.

The business have made a lot of assumptions as to what might have caused this reduction in downloads and want me to make everything better based on these assumptions. But i think we need to find out exactly what is causing the issue rather than guessing and making incremental/massive knee-jerk changes that could cause more problems than they solve.

So my question is; What usability testing method is the right one for this situation?


Hi Hannah, and welcome.

Has the location or placement of the form changed, or is it just an aesthetic redesign?

If it’s the latter and you need qualitative testing, you could go for something like Reframer.


A few things have changed.
The downloads now have their own overview page, as well as being on the same page as they were before.
They are now published on other overview pages when they weren’t before.
So essentially there are more ways to get to the download landing pages than before, however most of the traffic that ends up on them comes from newsletters and social, so my thinking is that it’s the page itself that is the problem.
But there is also the fact that the whole site has had a massive facelift just 6 weeks ago and that could be part of the issue.


You’re spot on here! User testing, one of the bread-and-butter items of being a UX Engineer, was created to solve exactly these types of situations. It sounds like from your response to @HAWK that you’ve already taken a look at the analytics and have gleaned what information you can. The next step is to get out there and talk to some users (or potential users).

@HAWK, I haven’t run into Reframer before. Could you give us a rundown of how it works? It look a gander through the site, but I’m still a little foggy on what, exactly, it does.


@AshleaMcKay might be better qualified to answer that than me, she’s our biggest Optimal fan.
Or if you want it straight from the horse’s mouth, let’s ask @andy


Hello :slight_smile:

Reframer is a tool you can use to capture insights while you conduct qualitative user research. I tend to think of it like a note taking tool but it’s much more than that because it lets you create tags and score your findings as you go. The tags help you spot common themes faster and scoring the severity of issues in the moment prevents you from forgetting them later. It’s also good if you have multiple observers or if your team is running multiple sessions at the same time because multiple people can use it at the same time and it collates everything for you. It also still records the individual entries so if someone captures something and you don’t understand it, you can track down who wrote what.

It’s also all stored in one place and I don’t know about you but I have CTS and I have disgusting handwriting. This eliminates that issue too :slight_smile:

Let me know if you have any questions @dougcollins


Thanks @AshleaMcKay! I really appreciate the run-down. I’ll have to look into it for my next round of testing :slight_smile:

Before I got into the corporate world, my handwriting sucked. Now when I take notes at meetings, I practice good handwriting. I only hope I can get it down before CTS finds me. I have terrible typing posture, and I’m kinda surprised that I haven’t had issues with it.


It’s not pretty! I woke up one morning about two years ago and couldn’t feel the first three fingers on each hand! My doctor thought I’d had a stroke and sent me to emergency. While I waited, I googled my symptoms (as you do) and every source said CTS. Four hours later I saw a doctor there and she told me 1) It’s textbook CTS and 2) get a new family doctor!! :laughing:


I have the same symptom, but it’s caused by radial nerve damage in my triceps. It makes typing feel unpleasant - like I’m typing with wooden fingers.


Yeah it’s super weird


I’ve actually had this happen on-and-off over the past few years, except that it was the pinky and ring fingers on each hand. It’s just for a few minutes in the morning for a few weeks to a month at a time, but
dang does it feel weird.


Those two fingers are connected to the ulnar nerve - I’m no doctor but you might want to get that checked out.


[quote=“AshleaMcKay, post:12, topic:1226, full:true”]
Those two fingers are connected to the ulnar nerve - I’m no doctor but you might want to get that checked out.
[/quote] Heh, I can speak to this. Of all the coincidences, I’m currently undergoing nerve conduction studies for the radial nerve damage mentioned above and have had countless conversations about both ulnar and radial nerve compression with a physio, a radiologist, a neurologist and now a sports physician.

You’re correct re ulnar nerve, but occasional numbness isn’t generally something to worry about. It can be caused by something as simple as sleeping with your arm above your head for part of the night. If it’s combined with pain, muscle weakening or clicking of the elbow, then it’s something to get checked out.


@HAWK @AshleaMcKay At the time, I went to the doctor to get it checked out. He seemed rather bored by it, and told me that it wasn’t anything to worry about unless it caused pain or stuck around long-term. For right now, I’m in the clear.


Thanks @dougcollins @HAWK and @AshleaMcKay i will head off and do some user testing.


Do you have any access to analytics from before and after the redesign? Might help you see if traffic to the download page has changed much, for example, has the design of the newsletter changed so now people aren’t clicking the links to download the guides?
You could also do some remote testing using online sites that video users screens, this may help in seeing where they are clicking instead of downloading.


Hi @jacquidow thanks for your advice, I will definitely look into the stats you suggest.