Hootsuite Usabilty Test

Objective : To evaluate the current state of Hootsuite's website to determine how to redesign Hootsuite.com to improve its usability.

My Role

  • Note Taker
  • UX Researcher


  • Tim Abbleby
  • Tim Cullingham


  • User Interviews
  • User Testing
  • Market Research


Google Forms, Nimbus Recording Extension, Uxpressia, Fivesecondtest.com, usabiiltyhub.com

Usability Test Objectives

To determine design inconsistencies and usability problems within the user interface and content areas.


To test the website under controlled test conditions with representative users

At the end of testing, data will help determin whether usability goals ( effective, efficient and good user interface) have been met.

User Types

  • Average person interested in streamlining social media experience
  • Independent Social media influencer looking to improve viewership and branding across multiple accounts
  • Marketing analyst seeking new data collection methods to identify pain points for customers
  • Small business owner trying to improve brand awareness and engage with customers online
  • Executive planning marketing strategies for a large-scale ad campaign
  • Marketing coordinator seeking cross platform synchronicity
  • Socia media manager of a medium sized company trying to simplify daily workflow
  • Customer relations specialist looking for ways to catalog and respond to negative criticisms of brand over social media
  • Social media marketing director searching for ways to communicate and coordinate team on social media marketing initiatives

User Persona

Hootsuite User persona



Total of 4 participants, a user ( test taker), a moderator( Tim Cullingham ), a technical person( Tim Appleby), and a note taker (myself). Users were all volunteers and the ideal user type for Hootsuite's service: social media minded individuals with at least six months experience working in a marketing setting or studying marketing.

Users were expeected to have basic knowledge of computers and how to browse the web.


Test was conducted at the computer lab at BCIT Downtown Campus at 555 Seymour Street Room 300. One Dell desktop computer, mouse and keyboard were used by all participants. Thee Nimbus Chrome extension was used to record video screen captures.

Moderator: Provides an overview of the study to participants and assists in conduct of participants during study Tech Person: Creates and maintains the testing environment Observer: Takes notes and records participants actions and comments during each test

Usability Metrics I

Usabilty metrics are benchmarked against specific performance goals to satisfy usability requirements. Scenario completelion rates, error rates, and subjective evaluation will be used. Time to completion of scenarios will also be collected.

Usability Metrics II

Non critical errors are negligible in the results of the user test. They include exploratory behaviour such as opening an incorrect menu while searching for a function.

Subjective Evaluations are regarding ease of use and satisfaction collected via questionaires and during debriefing at conclusion of session. Utilizes free-form responses and rating scales.

Scenario Completion ( Time on Task) is the time to complete each scenario not including subjective evaluation.

Pre-Test questionaires

These questions help prime the user for the actual tests.

Hootsuite UX Pretest Questions
Hootsuite UX Pretest Questions

Usability Tasks I

5 Second Test

The 5 second test was created using www.usabilityhub.com to capture the participants first impressions of the website within the first five seconds of landing on the home page.

Hootsuite 5 Second Test

Follow Up Questions

1) What are your impressions of this page? Are they positive or negative?

The users' answers ranged from mainly positive to neutral. One user mentioned the lady in the suit was a distraction.

2) What do you think this business does?

The users' answers were generally on target- social media management or marketing. Only one user said it seemed like it was a business that provided imagery for business use.

Usability Tasks II

Click Test

The click test was created using www.usabilityhub.com to check that the task participants make is error free. The participants were given a task in the form of a question and are asked to make their first click to help them accomplish this task. You are a social media manager at a company. Your boss just decided to switch to Hootsuite. She wants to see a visual walkthrough of how Hootsuite works as she is only familiar with other competitor platforms. Where do you click to do so?

Hootsuite Click Test

Follow Up Questions

1) Why did you chose to click where you clicked?

The users' answers ranged from assuming that the place they clicked would show them how Hootsuite worked ( some clicked the word demo), and associating the word 'education' with tutorial. It was interesting to note user confusion on where to click as four of the five users clicked different places.

Preference Test

The preference test was created using usabilityhub.com to gather participants' opinions and feedback on teh visual design of Sproutsocial.com vs Hootsuite.com.

We showed participants two full home page screenshots from sproutsocial.com and hootsuite.com. The goal of this test was to see which design was more favoured in the eyes of the participant.

Hootsuite Preference Test

Follow Up Questions

1) Why did you prefer your chosen design?

The users' answers clearly showed they prefered Sproutsocial.com over Hootsuite due to SproutSocial's use of white space, clearer heading, and succinct information.

Scenario I

You are a software development student who has started blogging about your educational experience on Medium. You are seeking to follow and engage with software development thought leaders on Twitter and establish a personal brand online. You want to share your thoughts on Twitter and engage with other students in a similar situation and monitor who replies to you. How do you sign up for a free Hootsuite account?

Hootsuite Scenario 1


Two participants went to the footer to find the free plan as it was not obvious in the header navigation under the plans section. Feedback from all participants echoed the fact that it was not intuitive to find the option to create a free Hootsuite account that does not require input of credit card information.

Scenario II

You’re a new user of Hootsuite and want to find the quick start guide so you can quickly learn how to use the so􀈅ware. Where would you find it?

Hootsuite Scenario 2


All participants failed to complete this task within a two minute timeframe. Most of them could not find it no matter where they clicked even if clicking within the top nav or footer. Sections clicked by participants include Education, Resources. A lot of the participants thought it should be under the education section and lamented the lack of a search function and too many menu categories under each section.

Scenario III

You are a young professional looking to enhance your social media marketing skills through higher learning. You do not have very much money so you want to find Hootsuite’s free Social Marketing course. Where would you go to find this?

Hootsuite Scenario 3


Participants found this task fairly simple. They all clicked on the education section in the navigation bar first, and scrolled down to the free course they were trying to find.

Scenario IV

You are a Hootsuite user and active reader who wants to find blogs concerning Pinterest. Specifically, you are trying to learn more about how Pinterest uses SEO. Try to find one.

Hootsuite Scenario 4


All participants noted that the blog search function does not work very well. The article entitled Pinterest SEO does not show at the top of the search results, participants had to scroll down a bit to find it.

Post Test Questions

We asked users questions about their impressions and experiences with Hootsuite.com after they completed our user tests and scenarios. This is to help us gain a holistic view of what the user's perspective was during the process.

Hootsuite Post Test Questions 1
Hootsuite Post Test Questions 2

Recommedations I

During each of the task scenarios, there was a lot of comments from participants about the lack of a proper search bar on Hootsuite.com. Thus, our recommendation is to add a search bar to Hootsuite.com to make it easier for users to find exactly what they are looking for rather than looking through various menus and the footer to try and find what they are looking for.

Hootsuite Recommendations 1

Recommendations II

During our usability test, the one task that had a 0% completion rate was scenario 2, which involved finding the “quick start guide” which is located in the Help Center. We propose making it easier for users to find things like that document by changing the bottom “Sales Call” tab into a chatbot widget using a service such as Intercom. The Intercom chat widget would allow Hootsuite to easily segment their users into prospective users, new users, or existing clients and send them to the right place for assistance.

Hootsuite Recommendations 2