The term usability testing refers to the process of testing user friendliness of a website. Usability testing is a way to ascertain whether the interface is easy to use or not, that is, how well a user is able to navigate through the various menu options and how the various components are easily comprehensible by the viewers.
Usability testing takes into account various factors that needs attention, like speed of loading the website, search result optimization, category list of items, how recent is an item and many more. By preparing a checklist we ensure that each and every aspect which are worth attention are noted down first, post which the tester and developer are in a position to gradually proceed step by step towards attaining the desired goal.
Usability testing Checklist :
A checklist must clearly state the answers to user's queries, and give them a clear description of the same.
It is important to ensure that they are offered a smooth navigation path within the website.
There should be navigation links that is written in meaningful language so that the user is able to navigate the site easily.
Use of colour, text size and fonts are very important factors in creating an impact on the user.
Use words or sentences that are easily understood by the target users.
Present the most valuable information to the users according to their usage in the relevant sections. Use catchy headlines for the same.
The elements or the components inside a web page must be positioned with optimal spacing and must not be too close to each other.
Do not ever miss out on listing the appropriate contact information on the site so that the user feels free to contact the concerned owner in case of any discrepancies.
Sitemap is a key to an efficient and successful representation of a website.
Initiate installing plugins at user's site only if it's needed and the relevant one.
A good SEO habit is to enhance readability , that is, using words and phrases that are beyond ordinary and which sets apart our content from others.
Have a Q&A forum where users can interact and discuss about issues .
Visually appealing things definitely make an impact on viewer's minds, therefore, we may include videos that explain and demonstrate how things actually work on the site. This shall help the users to understand the working of various components on the site and hence they adapt themselves quickly.
Updated content definitely catches attention of users. Mention dates alongside a product to let the users know which is the current thing.
Linking the company's logo helps the users to traverse to the homepage as it has become a convention.
Categorise information. Group similar items under one category, as it enables quick and easy search.
The images or graphics displayed on the site must convey some meaning.
Response to a user query should confine itself to few meaningful lines that adds meaning to the answer.
Information corresponding to an item must not replicate to any advertisement as that may not lure much attention from the viewers.
Theme used on the site must adhere to certain colour schemes. Like a lighter background must not project a text in an even lighter tone.
An important aspect in a website is the structure. Category listing should follow a certain hierarchy.
Below product description there must be quick summary depicting the information in few words.
A theme should be universal throughout the site, that is, same theme across different pages of the same site.
There must always be a FAQ section in a website that addresses the most common type of questions that may arise in one's mind. This reduces the overhead of answering repeated questions by users.
There is a 3-click rule which means that if a user isn't able to find the appropriate information within 3 mouse clicks .
Avoid using unnecessary and irrelevant information.
The plus or minus 2 principle is quite helpful in accessing only a few things at a given time.
Speed optimisation is again another factor that can make or break a brand's goodwill. Make sure that site loads the contents quickly.
Title for a specific content should be self explanatory so that the user can recognise things easily.
Optimise the site for screen resolution so that it appears same across different devices.
A search box must be there within a site as it makes the users search for relevant content within the least amount of time.
Well customer's privacy is very important. Hence it must be taken care of whether the contact information provided by them is secure and won't be mishandled.
Spelling and grammatical errors must be dealt with great care as that creates an impression on the minds of the users.
Fixed width and fixed layout of a website may be difficult to render on a large browser.
Using tabs to divide information is a good way to logically segregate the contents into different sections that enhances readability.
If a splash page isn't necessary then it should be avoided, because a user may be interested in accessing the real content in the first place. A splash page must be rationally used.
META information is very important for an efficient search by any search engine. Hence both the TITLE and META tags must be mentioned.
Highlight the high priority tasks so that the users get to know what needs to be done next.