Testing a Web site is a pretty big, and not often inexpensive, task. Cara already posted about some inexpensive tools for user-testing wireframes. But for your design, there’s an opportunity to go even lower-budget than that.
To do testing truly on the cheap, there is a new tool called fivesecondtest.com. It’s a way to test designs in five seconds or less. You upload your design, and then you can either invite specific users to test it, or you can open your test to the entire 5 second community. You have the option of creating memory tests or click tests. And as the name suggests, a tester looks at the design for five seconds, letting you know what items stand out on the page.
Of course, this is a very simplified approach. There is no task-based testing. As the site states, the tool is meant to “help you easily identify the most prominent elements of your user interfaces.” Nothing more, nothing less. And if you open up your design to the entire five second community, you’re likely not getting results from an average-joe user, but usability and design experts.
There are some paid plans that allow you to do some more sophisticated testing. But if you’re budget is beyond tight, it may be worthwhile to just upload an image and see what the testers say.