I was incredibly refreshed when Rob sent me a link to Helen's Hou-Sand\u00ed's blog post\u00a0on Tuesday. Helen is leading the WordPress 4.7 release cycle and she's looking at tackling a challenge that has been working against WordPress for quite a while. The fact\u00a0that WordPress has gone from simple blogging platform to a full feature CMS and web application framework in such a short period of time means that, just by the sheer nature of software, the user experience has fallen behind other modern platforms. I'm thrilled\u00a0to see Helen taking this initiative. Be sure that you read her post on Theme Disconnect and Discontent to learn more about the gargantuan task she's spearheading. Earlier this week I threw a tantrum on twitter about my frustration with the theme setup process, so it feels like kismet that everything is coming together at the same time. https:\/\/twitter.com\/ryandonsullivan\/status\/758138026023190528 (P.S. Helen's approach to solving this problem is much much better than mine). I'm Changing My Ways In an attempt to change my childish ways, and become part of the solution\u00a0instead of whining on\u00a0twitter, I'm genuinely\u00a0excited to share a set of user testing videos that\u00a0will be useful as the core team explores new solutions to these problems. Last September WP Site Care invested heavily in user tests for users who are new to SquareSpace, Wix, and WordPress. We wanted to see what WordPress was doing well, where it struggled, and what we could possibly learn from other platforms. We gave individuals a simple set of tasks to perform, the types of tasks that most of us perform every single day, but that are crucial to the future adoption of WordPress for new users. Then we recorded their sessions and had them give feedback along the way. The goal was to avoid the trap of anecdotal evidence and personal experiences. We wanted to invest in UX research and really challenge our own assumptions, and popular opinions from the community at large. A common trap as people who work and live in the WordPress ecosystem every single day is to think we know users. We think we already know what the problems are. That's a really dangerous road to go down, and often results in building the wrong solutions. We've published\u00a0all the videos so they can\u00a0be used for research purposes.\u00a0It's\u00a0the right thing to do, and ultimately should help forward the work that Helen and the rest of the core team are trying to accomplish. There are sixty total videos, ranging from 5 minutes to 30+ minutes depending on how much difficulty each user had.\u00a0Each user performed one\u00a0tasks. We tested twenty individuals on each platform. Twenty users on WordPress, twenty on Wix, and twenty on Squarespace. We packaged all of the key takeaways in this nice infographic. Feel free to share it with your friends, family, and anyone else really. The User Tests Each user was given one task to perform. We wanted to keep the scope of the tasks super clear, and wanted\u00a0to assign tasks that new users would commonly need\u00a0to accomplish. In order to complete the tests we had to create unique websites, logins, and email addresses for every single individual who was tested. That was a fun little task on its own ? Below is a breakdown of the instruction set that each test recipient was given. The instructions varied slightly between platforms in order to eliminate jargon-related confusion. TASK 1 Please share your feedback while completing the the listed tasks. \tLog in to the administrative section of your website. Your login: Username: XXXXXXXXXX Password: XXXXXXXXXX \tAdd a page to your website, with one paragraph of text, and upload two images. \tPreview the page that you just created. Does the page look like what you expected to see? TASK 2 Please share your feedback while completing the the listed tasks. \tLog in to the administrative section of your website. Your login: Username: XXXXXXXXXX Password: XXXXXXXXXX \tChange your website's design by applying a new theme or template. \tPreview the page that you just created. Does the page look like what you expected to see? TASK 3 Please share your feedback while completing the the listed tasks. \tLog in to the administrative section of your website. Your login: Username: XXXXXXXXXX Password: XXXXXXXXXX \tAdd a gallery to your website using the images stored on your website. \tPreview the page that you just created. Does the page look like what you expected to see? TASK 4 Please share your feedback while completing the the listed tasks. \tLog in to your website. Your login: Username: XXXXXXXXXX Password: XXXXXXXXXX \tAdd a new page to your website with one paragraph of text. Create a gallery on the page with at least 3 photos. \tAdd a link from the new page you just created that directs back to the homepage. \tFind a link or button that allows you to preview your page as if you were viewing your website outside of the edit mode. Does it look how you expected it to? What We Learned I think there's only so much you takeaway from these user tests from a comparison standpoint. Saying that any platform is better than another is pretty impossible since our dataset is relatively small, and the number of variables you'd have to measure are pretty much infinite. That said, there are a few key\u00a0takeaways. The first thing I want to emphasize is that even though we have a long way to go, WordPress is still doing really well compared to the other platforms\u00a0where we ran user tests. On average, WordPress users are getting things done more than twice as fast\u00a0as Squarespace users, and WordPress was also the platform most likely to be recommended to a friend. The Videos As fantastic as all of this information is, the real goldmine here, and the thing that I found the most surprising was the videos themselves. Watching users struggle through things that most of think of as second nature was really eye opening to me. We have over 13 hours of video from people performing simple tasks in WordPress, Squarespace, and Wix, and we're happy to make them all freely available to the community, since we know they'll be put to good use. We compiled all of the tests into a convenient YouTube playlist so you can watch them at your leisure. Getcha ? ready. https:\/\/www.youtube.com\/watch?vQqm5ptzP5Ys&listPLROcdfSaZhgCDU_DymLwqN_HvMo5DqzXA For all of the data nerds out there (like us), you can take a deep dive into all of the information we collected and a comprehensive look at the user feedback in the spreadsheets we compiled as part of our research. I offer up this data with a few words of warning: 1) The real value here is the videos, and 2) the spreadsheets are kind of a mess\u00a0since we threw all of this information together pretty quickly. \tInitial Data Collection and Video Analysis \tComprehensive Case Study with Feedback and Language Analysis Have any questions about the information you're seeing here? Any patterns that we can use to help improve WordPress? Hit us up in the comments. We'd love to hear your thoughts and share more of ours too ?