by Carolyn Edlund
Is your art website completely user-friendly? Here’s a free and easy way to find out what visitors think.
Taking a deep look through the website of a fellow artist can be fascinating. So many things can go wonderfully right, but things can go wrong, too. I’ve done extensive reviews of many art websites, and there are usually quite a few changes that can be made to improve the visitor experience. Sometimes information is lacking, or navigation is confusing. I’ve even looked through two websites of artists who forgot to mention their name. Oops!
Problems often stem from the fact that you know the content of your website already. And you cannot un-know it. This is the Curse of Knowledge, which means there is no way you can ever give yourself an objective viewpoint of your own art website.
I’ve given artists advice to find a stranger who has never visited their site, and offer a few bucks for a review. What did they get? What confused them? What did they like best? Did they want to learn more?
Enter Peek by User Testing, a free service that offers five-minute videos of users visiting your website for the first time. This allows you to see exactly what they absorb, where they click, what makes impact and what they miss. You can get up to three user tests per month without charge.
Of course, I had to check this out for myself, so I entered the ArtsyShark URL to see what happened. Yes, I did get a pretty clueless user at first, who skipped all the navigation and got completely focused on all the art images, but I found that she clicked a link that took her off site, which led to a fix. The second visitor test gave a more complete review, and they seemed to understand the purpose of the site.
Whether your art website passes user tests with flying colors or not, it’s always valuable to know what the visitor experience is, and how you may be able to improve. Of course, Peek would be happy to give you comprehensive feedback on your site and assistance through their paid plans, too.
Regardless, a free peek into how users see your art website can provide valuable information that helps you make changes, fix mistakes and improve visitor experience.