There are a lot of things to think about when building a portfolio website; SEO, what to write in the About section, to blog or not to blog? Once you’ve got all that sorted, there’s something a little less tangible – user experience. You need to know how users are interacting with your site. What’s drawing their attention? Is anything confusing or unclear? You can ask your friends and family for opinions, but it’s helpful to know the thoughts of people with no bias, who know nothing about you or what you do. You can pay for services like this, but there’s a quick freebie available by way of Peek by User Testing. User Testing is a paid service, but Peek is free and offers succinct insight into what a stranger sees and thinks when they visit your site.
Here’s how it works: you visit the Peek site and submit your website. Mobile and desktop reviews are available separately and you can do both. You will need to enter some contact info in order to receive the results, and you need a “company email address;” Gmail et al won’t work, but if you have an email address through your domain you’re good to go. Next, a User Testing website tester (a real person) will review your site and create a video of the whole process which will be about five minutes long. I’ve used Peek twice, and the first results came within hours and the second within a day. The tester will look at your site and go over some key points, like what they think the site is and what the layout makes them want to do – what they want to click and why.
This is a really interesting free resource – you will probably be surprised at what a total stranger thinks when they see your website. Peek reviews are random, not targeted like the paid User Testing reviews, so perhaps a touch less useful for photography-specific purposes, but it gives a good idea of how a visitor to your site would navigate and interact, and if there are any major issues in the user experience.
If you are looking to optimize your site and online presence, and would like to know actionable steps on how to get more inquiries, save time, gain followers check out our SEO & Web Marketing E-Book which lays out just how SLR Lounge and Lin & Jirsa has done it, and more.
If you decide to give Peek a try, we’d love to hear what insight it gave you in the comments!