Auditing Your Website for Usability Issues


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Idealware/LSNTAP webinar of 29 May 2013

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  • surveyEmail it or link to it Focus on general questions (i.e. “What is your primary purpose for visiting?” “Were you able to find what you needed?”)
  • Intercept- put a piece of code onto your web page. This survey will pop up either right away or after a few seconds to ask questions about the website. Simple things like “what’s your purpose on the website today?” “did you find what you are looking for” will be great. Ex. 50% users want to know your hours.
  • Auditing Your Website for Usability Issues

    1. 1. Auditing Your WebsiteFor Usability IssuesMay 2013
    2. 2. Introductions…
    3. 3. Is Your Site Usable?
    4. 4. Why Should You Care About Usability?Brainstorm what youhope to accomplish withyour site. Almost all ofthose things will beboosted by a usable site
    5. 5. Your Website is You, Online
    6. 6. Your Mission:Make your website easy to use.Sounds straightforward, right? But…
    7. 7. Usable for Whom?Who are your audiences?Brainstorm– and then prioritize• Those looking forrepresentation?• Those with a question?• Volunteer lawyers?• Donors?• Researchers?• Politicians?
    8. 8. Usable to Do What?Brainstorm what each audience is likely to want
    9. 9. Balance Your Goals vs. Your Visitors’
    10. 10. You Can’t Be All Things to All PeopleIf you don’t prioritize, a usable sitewill be difficult or impossible.
    11. 11. Thinking about Usability
    12. 12. There’s Three Core Parts to UsabilityLet’s stepthrough themone by one.FormsContentNavigation
    13. 13. Thinking About Usability:Navigation
    14. 14. How Will They Find What They Need?How can you be sure thatyour web visitors will be ableto find what they need?
    15. 15. The Homepage is a Map to the SiteQuickly show the types of things your visitors can see and do
    16. 16. Don’t Try to Show Everything At Once
    17. 17. PrioritizeChoose only a few things to highlight on your homepage
    18. 18. Feature A Key Things with TeasersUse clear “teasers” to directvisitors, with a minimum of text
    19. 19. The Navigation is KeyMake sure they say what you want them to say
    20. 20. Remember Mobile Visitors
    21. 21. The Myth of Seven Things…this is total nonsense.Years ago, someone’s perfectly innocent research was co-optedinto meaning, “each list should include exactly seven things.”
    22. 22. Instead, Think About “Scent”It doesn’t matter if it’s a lot of clicks if it’s easy and obvious toknow where to click next.
    23. 23. This Means the Wording of Labels is Critical• Ensure your labels aremeaningful to users• Better to be wordy thanvague
    24. 24. Don’t Fight Your Visitors• Make it easy for them to dowhat they want to do.• Provide straightforwardnavigational links for them.
    25. 25. Thinking About Usability:Content
    26. 26. You Need Solid, User-Friendly ContentIt doesn’t matter how easy it isfor users to find the right pageif the information itself is thenuseless or baffling.
    27. 27. Start By Ensuring People Know What You DoSimple, concise statements can be a very effective way tocommunicate what you do.
    28. 28. Provide Info People Really Want to KnowPut yourself in your user’sshoes. What are the keythings they need to know?What do they need tomake a decision?
    29. 29. More Text is Not Better
    30. 30. Be briefLimit your paragraphs to a single topic. Cut word count in half ormore on general pages.
    31. 31. Make Text ScanableMost people don’t read everyword of text on a website.Rather, they scan the pagefor the information they arelooking for, or something thatcatches their eye.
    32. 32. “Chunk” Text for Ease of ScanningGrouping related links simplifies the page and makes it easier to parse
    33. 33. Bullet PointsBolding or visually highlighting keywords can help as well.
    34. 34. Equal AccessMake sure that everyone canaccess and use your websitecomfortably, including:• Mobile Users• Foreign LanguageSpeakers• Disabled People
    35. 35. Create High Text ContrastThis isbeautiful, butnot veryreadable.
    36. 36. Use MultimediaUse captivating images, as well as audio and video links to explaincomplicated issues for those who may have more trouble reading.
    37. 37. Thinking About Usability:Form Design
    38. 38. Use the Right Form for the JobRadio Buttons (select one)Check Boxes (select some or all)Dropdown (can savespace, if the options arelikely to be obvious)
    39. 39. Give Users Enough SpaceSome users may havelong names, nine digitzip codes, officenumbers, phoneextensions, and more.
    40. 40. But Keep Your Content In Check• Are you going to use all ofthis information?• Will you alienate users withtoo many questions?• Can your users quicklyunderstand and answeryour questions?
    41. 41. Mandatory FieldsMake certain that mandatoryfields are clearly noted, andthat any error messagesclearly show the mistake.
    42. 42. How Do You Know if it’s Working?
    43. 43. How Do You Know if Your Site is Usable?Ask people. Consider:• User Tests• Surveys• Web Analytics.
    44. 44. User TestsHelps you understand how your site is being used by realpeople to meet a goal.
    45. 45. Recruit Some PeopleRecruit 3-4 users for eachtype of thing you want totest. Ideally, get peoplewho would actually usethe site. But any testingis better than none.
    46. 46. Just Sit Down With ThemSit down with them in front ofa computer and your website.Give them the mouse andkeyboard and let them drive.Ask them what they’rethinking.
    47. 47. Ask Them to Take on A TaskYou could plan the task inadvance, or ask them tothink of one on the fly thatallows them to explore ontheir own terms.
    48. 48. Try to Involve Your Whole StaffSetting up a video camera torecord, or recording the screenand an audio track, can be apowerful way to ensure your staffand board actually believe thereare limitations and challengeswith your site.
    49. 49. Or, Conduct a SurveyIf you want lots of feedback on your website, but don’t havemuch time, a survey can provide useful feedback at a high level.
    50. 50. Keep Them Short
    51. 51. Types of SurveysEmail a link to thesurvey to your listIntercept Surveys
    52. 52. SurveyMonkey
    53. 53. Numbers, charts, and graphs can help you understand whetherpeople are doing what you expect them to doWeb AnalyticsFree Tool: Google Analytics
    54. 54. In Summary…
    55. 55. Balance Your Goals vs. Your Visitors’
    56. 56. Consider the Three Steps of UsabilityFormsContentNavigation
    57. 57. Take a Closer Look At Some Sites• Can you find what you’re looking for?• Does it make sense?• Can you easily scan?
    58. 58. Think About User Testing
    59. 59. More ResourcesDon’t Make Me ThinkUser Interface Engineering Norman Group’s
    60. 60. Questions?
    61. 61. Consider Splitting It Up
    62. 62. Translatable Content