June 17, 2015 | Sarah Danks

3 Easy UX Tests

Earlier this month, Angie Schottmuller gave an eye-opening presentation in Chicago at the Unbounce Conversion Road Trip. She spoke about usability, design and human physiology, and how they work together to affect your conversion rates.

One of the interesting take-aways was how to quickly — and easily — test your landing pages to see how visitors will perceive them. Why would this be important?

Because we humans form first impressions of a web page in 1/59th of a second. So you have a very small window of opportunity with which to (favorably) impress your web visitors.

Not to throw another log on the fire, but did you also know this fun fact from HubSpot?

“98% of first-time visitors will never return to your website.”

So you see, the way you design your website and landing pages can have a huge affect on your bottom line…

…and hopefully it’s the affect that causes visitors to convert and not bounce. And, as Avinash wisely said, a bounce is best described as:

angie-avinash-bounce-rate And the last thing we want web visitors to do when they land on our pages is puke.

So, if you want to know if your landing pages stand a chance of capturing — and holding — visitors’ attention, run them through these simple UX tests.

5-second test

First off, give your landing page the 5-second test. This test is to see what visitors can remember after viewing the page for a mere five seconds:

  • What’s the name of the company?
  • angie-5-second-testWhat’s the point?
  • Is it credible?
  • What’s/where’s the call to action?

It might seem intuitive on your own page, so have other people perform this test for you. You want them to be easily able to retain these four main points on any landing page:

  1. Identity
  2. Offer
  3. Credibility
  4. Call-to-action (CTA)

If visitors can’t identify these key takeaways on your landing pages, it’s time to head back to the drawing board and improve the clarity.

6-foot test

Your users might be able to find pertinent information on your landing page when they’re sitting right in front of their desktop screen, but do your key points still stand out from several feet away?

Find out by doing the 6-foot test: have visitors step back from their screens (for mobile have them hold it at arm’s length) and see if they can identify the main aspects of the page:

Does your CTA stand out? Can they read the headline? Is it clear what the hero shot is?


If users find they can’t readily see these, it’s time to make better use of white space and sizing of your elements.

Drunk user test

This is probably the most fun test to perform live. The point of this test is simply this: if a drunk person can figure out your landing page, ANYONE can figure out your landing page!

But, if you don’t feel right asking someone to get wasted and assess your landing page, you can just fake it by pretending you’re drunk.

It’s called the “virtual reality experience” — just squint your eyes and move your head back and forth quickly (careful, if you’re not drunk you might make yourself sick. Come to think of it, if you’re inebriated you could get even more so).

While doing that — and looking at your landing page — can a user tell what the page is about? Where’s the CTA? How distracting is the page?


Basically, design as though all your visitors have slightly blurred vision and the attention span of a chipmunk. Three cheers to the UX folks at Squareweave for coming up with this genius test!

How to Optimize Design To “Pass the Test”

So you’ve taken the tests — maybe you’ve even done well — but now it’s time to optimize the use of design elements in order to get your users to that next step: conversion.

Ensure users know your identity

First and foremost, your landing page users need to know WHO you are. You can have the best offer in the world, but if people don’t remember the name of your business, it’s a marketing fail.

angie-identity-fail angie-identity-win

If it’s not readily apparent to someone who doesn’t know your brand, you need to make it easy to find out who you are. Angie offers an identity usability tip: position your logo in the top left quadrant with adequate whitespace for quick recognition.

Do visitors know what your offer is?

After your visitors know who you are, you need to immediately reel them in with your offer. It needs to be easy to find, intuitive and leave no doubt as to the reason why they’re on this page.

angie-offer-fail angie-offer-win

All web surfers are tuned into the WIIFM channel — so make it easy for them to know what you’re offering them.

Show them you’re credible

Are your copy, imagery and overall web presence lending you credibility? You need to make it easy and simple for visitors to trust you.

angie-credibility-fail angie-credibility-win

Just because you’re a big brand doesn’t mean you don’t have to prove your worth. This is where social proof/”as seen on”/testimonials can be a huge asset.

Is your call-to-action understandable?

The entire point of a landing page is to convert your visitors — you want them to perform some action. Well, if you don’t have an easy-to-understand CTA, your efforts could be in vain:


Continue, It’s Free” — WHAT’S free? Continue where? What’s happening here? This landing page’s call-to-action is obviously lacking in clarity.

However, this next example succeeds nicely:


Every landing page has a goal, some reason you’ve drawn visitors there. To make it easy for them to know what you want them to do, your CTA should be the first thing to stand out and it needs to be easy to understand.

You’ve Passed the Test — Time to Launch!

So, now you know how to quickly test your web pages for visual clarity and what elements to focus on to form a good first impression. Don’t forget to make it easy for visitors to know who you are, what you’re offering, if you’re credible and — most importantly — what your call-to-action is.


Oh, and don’t forget about the role colors play in affecting conversions.

Got all that? Great. Looks like it’s time to launch your campaign and reap the benefits.

Have questions or comments? We’d love to hear them below — or you can ask Angie on Twitter.



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